Originally written on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 12/31/11
ST. LOUIS James Laurinaitis walked from a shower area to his locker Friday at Rams Park and passed fellow linebacker Brady Poppinga. Over the last five months, Poppinga has come to respect Laurinaitis' mental and physical approach to his craft honed over three seasons. But one recent episode captured Laurinaitis' grit, and Poppinga gestured his teammate closer to hear his praise. At about 3 a.m. last Saturday, less than nine hours before the St. Louis Rams were scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Steelers, Laurinaitis suffered from flu symptoms. He vomited and experienced diarrhea. He received little sleep. When he arrived at Heinz Field later that morning, he slouched near his stall without his usual pregame energy. Poppinga approached Laurinaitis before kickoff and thought the Rams' defensive leader was in for a long afternoon. He told the Ohio State product he would be tested. Then Laurinaitis went out and earned a game-high 13 tackles. "I mean it, bro," Poppinga said to Laur...
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kobe responds to Aldridge report with funny meme

One pitch away: Carrasco loses no-hitter in bottom of the 9th

England loses World Cup semifinal to Japan in heartbreaking fashion

Braxton Miller had 'successful' check-up visit

Raptors signing Carroll is shrewdest move of free agency

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Los Angeles Clippers will sign Paul Pierce

With Kevin Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Aldridge crosses Lakers off list, did not mesh well with Kobe

Jerry Dipoto officially steps down as Angels GM

Report: Rajon Rondo wants 'all of' Kings' $10M cap space

Reports: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson returning to Cavs

David West explains why he opted out of Pacers contract

Warriors, Draymond Green agree to 5-year, $85 million deal

Twins call up top prospect Miguel Sano

Robert Griffin III speaks at UN to advocate for protecting oceans

Cavaliers re-sign Iman Shumpert to four-year contract

Mike Green is joining the Red Wings on a three-year deal

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans until 2020

ESPN denies censoring Keith Olbermann commentary

The best and worst MLB players in the month of June

Report: Lakers didn’t make strong impression on Aldridge

Danny Green takes the Andre Iguodala path

DeSean Jackson rips Eagles in new reality TV show

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.