Rams Notebook: Ex-teammates square off as coaches

December 14, 2012 12:50 am • By Jim Thomas

Thirty-years ago, Leslie Frazier and Jeff Fisher were defensive backs for the Chicago Bears. On Sunday, they’ll square off against each other for the first time as NFL head coaches when Fisher’s Rams play host to Frazier’s Minnesota Vikings.

“Yeah, we were rookies together in ’81,” Fisher said. “That was obviously a long time ago. He was a great teammate. He was an undrafted free agent and made the club; we made the team together. We were there together for five years.”

Even then, Fisher said Frazier displayed qualities needed in an NFL coach.

“He’s very smart, well-spoken, communicates well, understands the big picture,” Fisher said. “He’s very patient. I’m just really happy that he got an opportunity there, and obviously happy for his success so far this year.”

While this is Fisher’s 17th full season as an NFL head coach, it took Frazier a little longer to get there. This is Frazier’s second full season as Vikings head coach after replacing Brad Childress for the final six games of 2010.

INJURY UPDATE

Four players returned to practice for the Rams on Thursday, but linebacker James Laurinaitis (back) and cornerback Cortland Finnegan (ankle) didn’t practice for the second game in a row. Laurinaitis and Finnegan are known for their durability, so this may be a case of Fisher resting both players for a crucial contest against Minnesota.

Running back Steven Jackson (foot), center Scott Wells (knee), safety Craig Dahl (head), and tight end Mike McNeill (thigh) all returned to practice after sitting out on Wednesday. Jackson and Wells have routinely missed practice time over the past few weeks and then returned later in the week.

Dahl’s return may be the most significant because he suffered a suspected concussion Sunday in Buffalo. He was full participation Thursday, so unless he experiences symptoms in the next couple of days, he should be good to go against the Vikings.

Wide receiver Danny Amendola (foot) was listed as limited once again.

In Minnesota, after being limited Wednesday for the Vikings, star running back Adrian Peterson (abdomen) did not practice Thursday.

SAFFOLD’S WOES

When Fisher said a few days ago that left tackle Rodger Saffold had a tough day in Buffalo, he wasn’t kidding. First, Saffold suffered a back injury when Steven Jackson slammed into him trying to blast his way through a small opening. The problem was compounded when the pile landed on Saffold’s back.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. He also got kicked in the uh, family jewels, by Buffalo linebacker Nick Barnett. In a sense, Saffold has only himself to blame for that because he wasn’t wearing a cup.

“So for all the kids out there, wear a cup,” Saffold said.

But why wouldn’t an offensive linemen wear one?

“It keeps you from being able to move, and it’s uncomfortable,” Saffold said. “If you know anything about the NFL, you’ve got to be comfortable coming off the line.”