Rams' Ryan looks to get back on field soon ..
BY JIM THOMAS • Friday, October 8, 2010
After being selected in the fifth round of the 2007 draft, defensive tackle Clifton Ryan played in 49 consecutive games, including 27 starts.
Now, after missing three games because of troubles with migraine headaches, Ryan is hoping to start a new streak. Ryan, who hadn't been seen by reporters for two weeks at Rams Park, watched practice Thursday.
Afterwards he said, "I'm practicing tomorrow. So we'll see how it goes, and maybe I'll be out there Sunday. Who knows?"
The prospect of playing Sunday at Detroit is particularly appealing for Ryan, who played for Michigan State and is from Saginaw, Mich. "If I'm out there for one play, I'd be grateful," he said.
But it's not likely. Nonetheless, Ryan is just happy with the prospect of playing again. Although he did not want to go into detail on his condition, Ryan said it was "just migraines. I'm feeling really good."
Ryan, 26, said he has experienced problems with migraines off and on since he was 18.
"I haven't had a migraine episode like this in about eight years," he said.
After seeing a variety of doctors and specialists in town and across the country, Ryan believes the migraines are now manageable. "It's probably going to be an ongoing thing," he said. "I don't think I'll miss any more time due to the situation. I think we've got it manageable. Very manageable. I've seen a lot of doctors. So I'll be all right. I'm a tough guy. I think I can tough it out."
Ryan hasn't played since the season opener Sept. 12 against Arizona, and hasn't practiced since Sept. 15.
"It's a reality check," he said. "It's humbling to have something taken away from you so quickly and so fast. I haven't practiced since Week 2, that Wednesday (before the Oakland game). And I had my best practice of the year, so I was pretty pumped up.
"And then to have this happen, that was scary. You had every emotion going through your body. But to be back and have a chance to play again, it really puts everything in perspective — life, the game. I really have a greater respect for life, and I have a much greater respect for the game. Because having it taken away from me for those three weeks was one of the roughest experiences of my life."
Ryan thanked Rams athletic trainer Reggie Scott and Ryan's agent, Tom Condon, for helping him get the best medical help possible. He also thanked the Rams' front office for their patience with his situation.
"I am real thankful," he said. "Thankful for my teammates, for all the prayers they sent out for me. The fans, my family, the coaches."
Cornerback Justin King, coming off a seven-tackle performance against Seattle, sat out Thursday's practice with a reoccurrence of a right calf injury. King had been slowed by calf problems in the preseason.
With cornerback Kevin Dockery (hamstring) possibly missing the next two weeks with a reoccurring hamstring injury, rookie Jerome Murphy could find himself as the team's nickel back, a roll he filled against Oakland in Week 2 when Dockery and King were sidelined.
Things are looking up at safety, however, with Oshiomogho Atogwe not even listed on the injury report after being limited by a thigh injury against the Seahawks. Undrafted rookie Darian Stewart (hamstring) practiced Thursday after missing the Seattle game.
Left tackle Rodger Saffold was full-go Thursday — he left Wednesday's practice early after getting kicked in the left shin. Running back Steven Jackson (groin) was officially listed as limited participation, but got a good amount of work in practice.
Re: Rams' Ryan looks to get back on field soon ..
Class act all the way. Excited to see him back on the field!