Jeff Fisher has been around the NFL for 31 seasons as both a player and a coach, so it shouldn’t come as much of surprise that the Rams head coach went old school on a pair of rookies who broke team rules.
The Rams deactivated rookie wide receiver Chris Givens and rookie cornerback Janoris Jenkins ahead of Sunday’s game against the 49ers for breaking an unspecified team rule. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King revealed in his weekly column that the two had broken curfew during the week and as punishment were sentenced to run the stairs at Candlestick Park.
“They weren’t going to play, so they needed a workout,” Fisher said, according to King. “And I guess you can say it was part punitive. We still have to sort some things out about what happened, but hopefully this helps them get the message.”
The punishment, which may not have been as steep as the stairs at the old stadium by the bay, had a definite effect on the game as both Givens and Jenkins factor prominently in what the Rams like to do. Givens is the team’s best big-play receiver, averaging 25.6 yards per catch, while Jenkins is tied for the team lead in passes defended with nine.
A big play by Givens or a timely defensive play by Jenkins could have turned the tide and stolen the Rams a crucial divisional game. But instead, the rookie tandem hung out on the sidelines while the Rams and 49ers played to the first tie in an NFL game since 2008.