With a need to have players practicing and competing for jobs in training camp, the Rams have placed DT Chris Hovan on injured reserve with a back injury, head coach Steve Spagnuolo said Friday.
"Hovan's going to go on I.R.," Spagnuolo told reporters after practice Friday. "It was one of those ... I talked with Chris today and he's really a terrific person and been in this league a long time. It's one of those 'Is it going to be five days?' 'Is it going to be three weeks?' 'Is it going to be five weeks?' ...
"We need the guys out practicing, and Chris understands that. Rather than play the waiting game, we decided to put him on I.R."
Hovan, 32, was about to start his 11th season. The Rams signed him June 9 after he was released by the Buccaneers following five seasons in Tampa Bay, where he had started all but one game during that period.
Hovan had figured in the team's DT rotation along with Clifton Ryan, veteran newcomer Fred Robbins, second-year man Darell Scott and Gary Gibson.
"It could be one of those it's-a-five-day-rest deal and he bounces back, but then he gets set back," said Spagnuolo when asked if Hovan was likely to need back surgery. "What you don't want to do is go through three weeks of training camp and wear the other guys out because we don't have enough bodies."
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