St. Louis Rams cornerback Ron Bartell, who sustained a season-ending neck injury in the opener, plans on playing next season.
Bartell, the team's top coverage corner, said Monday that doctors have told him there's no extra risk in playing again. He fractured two bones in his neck when he absorbed a block by a Philadelphia Eagles lineman in a 31-13 loss.
While gathering belongings after the Rams wound up a 2-14 season, Bartell said he was healthier than anyone else in the locker room because he played so few snaps. He also pointed out that he was able to walk off the field and never had any lack of sensation.
Bartell was a second-round pick in 2005 and is the second-longest tenured Ram behind running back Steven Jackson.