Rams taking it slow with Faulk

Updated: October 29, 2003, 7:22 PM ET

ST. LOUIS -- Marshall Faulk is easing his way back into the St. Louis Rams' tailback job.

Faulk, who has missed four games plus the bye week with a broken left hand and surgically-repaired right knee, shared reps on the first-team offense Wednesday with rookie Arlen Harris.

Coach Mike Martz said Faulk will get more reps as the week goes along.

There's no real rush, considering Harris ran for three touchdowns last week in a victory at Pittsburgh. Also, Martz remembers pushing Faulk back into action last year with a high ankle sprain that never got a chance to heal.

Faulk had 953 yards last season, ending a string of five straight 1,000-yard seasons. His best game out of the last five was a 43-yard outing in the season finale against the 49ers.

"Marshall played last year with a high ankle sprain halfway through the season and probably shouldn't have played," Martz said. "He kind of shouldered it and didn't say a whole lot about it, and didn't know how bad it was until the season was over.

"He never really did recover."

This year, the Rams want to make certain Faulk, who broke his hand on Sept. 21 against the Seahawks, is ready before they throw him out there. He was listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the 49ers.

Last week, he dressed but did not play at Pittsburgh.

"We want to make sure he's ready and we do the right thing by him," Martz said.

Harris, an undrafted rookie, had 81 yards on 34 carries against the Steelers and scored on a 1-yard run and two 9-yard runs.

Lamar Gordon, who had been the backup, likely will miss his second straight game with a high ankle sprain. Gordon did not practice on Wednesday and was doubtful.

Martz said Gordon was held out because he tried to run last Thursday and then experienced a setback.

Strong safety Adam Archuleta, who has missed two games with a sprained left ankle, took some reps with the scout team. He was questionable.

Martz said defensive linemen Leonard Little (pectoral muscle) and Damione Lewis (ankle) likely will be out. Neither practiced Wednesday.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index