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    Rams Notebook: Team's injury list is growing, even in practice ..

    By Howard Balzer

    Saturday, June 5, 2010
    It’s bad enough the Rams have several players on the sideline during OTAs receiving from injuries suffered during the 2009 season.

    But now, the inactive list is growing with players injured during the offseason work. Joining guards Jacob Bell (knee) and John Greco (pectoral), wide receiver Brandon Gibson (hamstring), center Drew Miller (knee) who have been injured since OTAs started is rookie tackle Rodger Saffold, who suffered a sprained knee in practice Thursday.

    Saffold was not on the field for practice Friday, and the injury is one that would keep him out two or three weeks. That makes it unlikely that he would participate in any of the team’s remaining OTAs. Next week, there are two OTAs, plus the three-day mandatory minicamp Thursday through Saturday. The final OTAs are the following week.

    The team’s rookies will stay around and continue working the week of June 21 before departing until training camp starts at the end of July.

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo called the sprain “mild,” and said, “We’re going to be careful with it.”

    Saffold, the team’s second-round pick, had been working with the second team in the offseason workouts, with Phil Trautwein on the first unit.

    As the Rams did when Alex Barron was traded and they added tackle Brandon Joyce to the roster, they signed rookie free-agent tackle Joe Gibbs after Saffold’s injury to keep the numbers up at the position. Gibbs is 6-foot-4, 298, and played at Tennessee-Martin.
    Sam the pitcher

    Quarterback Sam Bradford threw out the first pitch at the Cardinals’ game Friday night against Milwaukee. All of the Rams’ rookies were guests of the Cardinals and were on the field before the game.

    Friday afternoon after the Rams’ practice, Bradford admitted to being “nervous,” and added, “I haven’t thrown a baseball in a while.”

    If he was nervous, it didn’t show. On the mound and from a windup, Bradford threw a strike on the outside corner, with Oklahoma native Matt Holliday the catcher. He hadn’t played baseball since the eighth grade, when he was a pitcher and third baseman.

    When he got to high school, he played AAU basketball in the summer, so his baseball days ended.

    When asked before the Cardinals’ game, what he thought he might hit on the radar gun, Bradford said, “I’m really not going to try and touch anything. I want to make sure the arm is OK for football next Monday.”

    As for whether he’s a Cardinals fan, Bradford said, “I am now. We didn't have a baseball team in Oklahoma, so I really didn't follow a specific team. Now that I'm in St. Louis, I know the Cards are huge here. I look forward to hopefully coming to more games.”

    He recalled coming to St. Louis with his father for a weekend and some games in 1998 during Mark McGwire’s home-run chase.

    “It was pretty cool,” he said. “It was after he had broken the record. I think we saw ... him hit (No.) 65 or 66, somewhere up in there. It was pretty cool. The vibe in here that day was just electric. Every time he came to the plate it was unbelievable.”

    Bradford’s performance came despite a suggestion from his coach, Steve Spagnuolo, who said if he throwing a pitch, it wouldn’t be from the mound.

    Asked if there’s anything he’s learned about Bradford through three weeks of OTAs that he didn’t know before, Spagnuolo said, “I don’t know. I guess tonight we’ll see if he can throw a strike. I told him to cheat and go up in front of the pitcher’s mound. I know I would. I wouldn’t be in that dirt at all. I’d be up in that grass.”
    Jackson ready to run

    Running back Steven Jackson is now seven weeks out from his April 15 back surgery, and the recovery time was said to be 6-to-8 weeks.

    Previously, Spagnuolo had said it was unlikely Jackson would participate in any of the OTAs. Asked Friday, if there was a chance he might get in some work, Spagnuolo said, “You know, I’ll be honest with you, I have not thought about it at all, only because the safe thing is probably not to do anything with him. But I believe this, I don’t want to misstate, but I think he’s going to start or has started on solid ground running. He’d been in the pool.

    “I thought (trainer) Reggie (Scott) told me he was going to progress to running, maybe soon, so we’re doing a pretty good job with him.”
    Quiet on the Atogwe front

    Saturday makes the fourth day that safety Oshiomogho Atogwe has been a free agent, and the only sound has been the door slamming shut by supposedly interested teams.

    Several teams had been rumored to be interested in pursuing Atogwe, but several including Dallas, San Francisco and Minnesota have claimed they won’t pursue him. Miami and Detroit have been other teams mentioned, and no one from either team has yet to comment on their alleged interest.

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, “I’m ready to go into our season with the safeties we have.” Vikings coach Brad Childress said Friday the team “has “no interest.” A report out of Detroit said Atogwe’s asking price is “extremely high.”

    As for the notion that Atogwe is looking to leave the Rams because he was upset by the original low tender, general manager Billy Devaney said, “I don’t think that’s the case. He was probably disappointed, but he understood the business part of it.”

    Devaney acknowledged that if another team came forward with a huge offer, the Rams would likely be moving on without him, but so far, that hasn’t been the case.

    Concluded Devaney, “O.J. knows how we feel about him. We are a better team with him here. Our hope is that after he tests the market, he will come back to us. We’re trying to get to a happy medium.”

  2. #2
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Team's injury list is growing, even in practice ..

    Wow, the injury bug strikes yet again.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams Notebook: Team's injury list is growing, even in practice ..

    For the most part, I'd imagine that these are generally minor injuries that could be played through if it was the season. In the OTA season, though, you don't want to possibly hurt something further so caution is the name of the game. They'll all probably be back for camp.
    I believe!

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