St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson sat out most of the last three quarters of Sunday's 31-28 win over the Washington Redskins after drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for spiking the ball, but coach Jeff Fisher said it was because Jackson had a groin strain and not because he'd lost his cool.
''It had nothing to do with the spike,'' Fisher said. ''His groin was real tight and we just didn't want to subject him to it. I didn't think he'd be 100 percent.''
Jackson said he thought he'd be able to re-enter the game but said the groin tightened on him.
Jackson drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for spiking the ball after he was ruled short of the goal line on a third-down carry from the 1. He never returned to the game as the Rams went with rookies Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson in the home opener while Jackson stood on the sideline, helmet in hand.
One play before the penalty, referees ruled that Jackson had lost a fumble at the 1. The call was reversed when the Rams challenged.
Jackson had 58 yards on nine carries. He's the Rams' career rushing leader and entered the year with seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.