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This here proves pace's injury is not sever at all!
ST. LOUIS -- Seven-time Pro Bowl tackle Orlando Pace revealed his latest shoulder setback came from trying to make a tackle for the St. Louis Rams.
During last week's 7-6 win over the San Diego Chargers, Marc Bulger threw an interception and Pace attempted to make a play. He landed on his right shoulder.
While a little frustrated with the mishap, Pace pointed out it is not related to the labrum or rotator cuff, which were both torn during the 2007 season opener against Carolina. He underwent season-ending surgery last Sept. 20.
This soreness is not related to the surgery.
"I think I did it when I was trying to make a tackle, and I landed on it pretty good," Pace said.
Pace insisted he was not trying to be like his friend, ex-Ram Mike Jones, who made the game-saving tackle in Super Bowl XXXIV.
"I was trying to do what I can out there," Pace said, laughing. "The one positive that came out of landing like that is you know the structure of the shoulder is back, and it healed pretty good.
"But I didn't know I'd hurt it until Monday when I came in, and I couldn't raise my arm and it was swelling. That was a little concern to me."
Pace, 32, missed the second half of the 2006 season with a torn left triceps muscle. Before 2006 Pace had made seven consecutive Pro Bowls. Now, he's out to prove to himself he can come back and be that force again.
His teammates know he's important to the club.
"He's a big part of our success," guard Richie Incognito said. "The Big 'O' is close to being back. Having a healthy Orlando in the lineup helps all of us. You want to play like he does."
Pace returned to practice on Thursday for the first time. The team had a light workout Friday at Rams Park.
This latest injury raises questions regarding Pace's durability and long-term viability after two straight years shortened by season-ending injuries.
"This is just a little setback to me because I was getting into a pretty good groove," Pace said. "It's frustrating. I want to get back and play at a high level."
The Rams have treated Pace, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, gingerly in training camp, not overextending him and limiting his repetitions. Backup Adam Goldberg has been alternating with him during practice drills. Pace did see action on 39 plays in the first half against the Chargers.
St. Louis coach Scott Linehan said he is unsure about how much time Pace will be in Saturday's final preseason home game against the Baltimore Ravens. Both teams are 1-1. This will be the first time the two teams have met in preseason. They met during the regular season last year with Baltimore scoring a 22-3 victory.
"He is still questionable," Linehan said about Pace. "I think there is a good chance he could play but we haven't decided yet."
Pace agreed. "We'll see how it feels," he said. "If the soreness and stiffness goes down, I'll be ready to go."
Linehan is pleased with what he has seen from Pace so far in training camp and the first two exhibition games.
He used his arms and shoulders really well this last game," Linehan said. "The guy really hadnt played live until this last two preseason games."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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