ST. LOUIS (AP) -The St. Louis Rams will retire Marshall Faulk's No. 28 jersey at halftime of Thursday night's game against Pittsburgh. But Faulk said he might have given up the jersey much earlier if the outcome of Super Bowl XXXVI had been different.
Faulk arrived in St. Louis in a trade from Indianapolis in 1999 and led the Rams to their only Super Bowl championship that season. Two years later, the Rams were heavy favorites against New England, but lost 20-17 on a last-second field goal.
Faulk decided to stick around hoping to get to one more Super Bowl. It never happened.
``I think if we had won the Super Bowl in 2001, I would have retired that year,'' Faulk said Wednesday. ``We didn't and I felt like we still had it, so I came back. I was prepared to retire way before I did. All the time beyond then was bonus time for me.''
Sportscaster Bob Costas will preside over halftime ceremonies Thursday as the Rams (3-11) host the Steelers (9-5). A video tribute also is planned.
Faulk announced his retirement in March, though he last played in 2005. He missed all of last season with a knee injury.
Now an analyst for the NFL Network, Faulk was given a key to the city on Wednesday. He called the retiring of his jersey a ``very special occasion.''
``You think about winning the Super Bowl or scoring touchdowns, but to get your number retired, it's an honor you don't even think about,'' he said.
Faulk was the NFL MVP in 2000 and was offensive player of the year from 1999-2001. He's fourth all-time in combined yards from scrimmage with 19,154, and his 6,875 yards receiving are the most ever for a running back. He's ninth on the all-time rushing list.
In St. Louis, Faulk was part of ``The Greatest Show on Turf'' with quarterback Kurt Warner and receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt.
Bruce and Holt are still with the Rams and will be on hand for the ceremony.
``We had a bunch of great guys here who wanted to win and have fun,'' Faulk said. ``When I reflect on things here, it's always good.''
Notes: DE Leonard Little said November surgery for a torn foot ligament was successful and he should be able to start jogging by early February. ... FB Brian Leonard took a knee to the head in Sunday's loss to Green Bay and is questionable for Thursday's game. Leonard said he expects to play. ... Coach Scott Linehan said returner Brandon Williams (ankle) likely will be back for the Steelers game after missing the last two games.
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