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ASSOCIATED PRESS
09/21/2006

Rams offensive tackle Orlando Pace, shaking off the effects of a concussion sustained in last week's loss at San Francisco, returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday.

The Rams upgraded Pace, a seven-time Pro Bowl player, to questionable from doubtful. Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa remained questionable with a dislocated left elbow, but is expected to play wearing a brace on Sunday at Arizona.

"We're a little more encouraged with him," coach Scott Linehan said of Pace. "I don't think he's symptomatic now, which is why I think it's encouraging.

"He said he isn't experiencing any discomfort at this point."

Linehan said Pace is scheduled for medical tests on Thursday to assess his progress. Pace declined to speak to reporters.

Pace was hurt on the extra point following the Rams' only touchdown of the season near the end of the first half. Several ***** overloaded Pace's spot on the right flank and bowled him over, with Pace landing on his head.

Left guard Todd Steussie moved to Pace's left tackle spot and Adam Goldberg took over at guard. The Rams are expected to go with that alignment Sunday at Arizona if Pace can't play in a patchwork line.

Goldberg said he was surprised when he got the call until he saw Pace.

"We were going over the previous drive," Goldberg said, "and he had this glazed-over look in his eyes."

Richie Incognito made his first career start at center last week after Andy McCollum sustained a season-ending knee injury. Incognito moved from left guard and is likely to stay at center for the rest of the season.

Pace was sent to a San Francisco hospital for tests, but the team got its first encouraging sign when he was able to join it on the return flight to St. Louis.

"It was just good to see him get on the plane," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "He was a little late and we thought he was going to stay overnight.

"I knew that was a good sign because if there were any worries he would have stayed in California."