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Thread: Saffold back at practice, anxious to work his way back into the lineup ..

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    Saffold back at practice, anxious to work his way back into the lineup ..

    By Joe Lyons
    For the first time since suffering a knee injury early in a Week 2 loss in Atlanta, right tackle Rodger Saffold is off the Rams’ injured list and back on the practice field.

    “I feel fine, probably between 90 and 100 percent,’’ Saffold said Thursday after completing his second full practice of the week. “I’m comfortable, the knee brace is working fine — nothing shifting, nothing moving. Basically, just getting the kinks out.’’

    It has been an eventful and sometimes trying fourth professional season for Saffold, 25, who was selected by the Rams with the first pick of the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

    With the free-agent signing of four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long, the Rams shifted Saffold from left to right tackle, a transition that some have likened to learning to write with the opposite hand.

    Then, just two plays into the preseason opener in Cleveland, Saffold went down with a dislocated shoulder. He recovered quickly, missing just one preseason game, but went down again midway through the second quarter in Atlanta with a sprained MCL.

    “It’s my first week back with the offense. It’s tough, but I continue to see things getting better in the future,’’ he said. “What I like to do is go out before practice and work on a couple of drills on my own, trying to get my steps right, to get my hands right. ... Once I can go out and prove my knee is working properly, I think (the coaches will) be more comfortable with me going in.’’

    The Rams are bringing Saffold along slowly; both he and his replacement, Joe Barksdale, have been getting reps at right tackle in practice.

    “We’re fired up that he’s back — he’s doing a good job — and we’ll see how the practice week goes,’’ Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. “But again, whoever we put out there, they’re going to know the plan and they’re going to play it well. I think (Barksdale’s) done very well. He’s been a big part of our success the last couple of weeks, running the ball, and there’s certainly something to chemistry. But that group is a bunch of veterans; they plug in and whoever gets called, they’re always ready to go.’’

    Saffold is anxious for a chance to regain his starting spot.

    “I’ve taken some reps; I expect to play (in Carolina on Sunday),’’ said Saffold, whose contract runs through the end of the season. “At the same time, it’s going to be (the coaches’) decision and if they feel like they’re putting me in harm’s way, they’re not going to put me in.

    “Once they see that I can do the job effectively, on the game field, I think they’ll be more comfortable and understand I’m ready.’’

    INJURY REPORT

    Rookie running Zac Stacy and veteran defensive end Chris Long returned to practice and received a decent amount of work on Thursday.

    Stacy (chest) and Long (thigh) sat out practice on Wednesday. Linebacker Daren Bates (hip) also returned to practice after being limited to just a warm up on Tuesday.

    The only Rams to miss practice on Thursday were veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan (hamstring) and rookie running back/kick returner Benny Cunningham (ankle).

    For Carolina, reserve cornerback D.J. Moore (knee) sat out practice Thursday. Starting defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (hamstring), starting tight end Greg Olsen (foot) and back-up corner Melvin White (concussion) were limited while safety Robert Lester (hamstring) and running back Kenjon Barner (foot) were full participants in practice Thursday.

    RAMS SUPPORT MILITARY

    The Rams are teaming with Boeing and the USO of Missouri to provide 1,500 tickets to the team’s military appreciation game Nov. 3 against the Tennessee Titans. The tickets will go to military members and their families.

    The Rams and Boeing are also making another allotment of tickets available for military members and their families as well as veterans at a discounted price for the Nov. 3 game.

    “The people at Boeing are very proud of the products we provide to the men and women of the U.S. armed forces and we honor our veterans for the sacrifices they provided for the freedoms we enjoy,’’ Boeings’ Jeff Wieringa said Thursday following practice at Rams Park in Earth City.

    “The NFL has a great relationship with the armed services and they’re doing all kinds of different things,’’ said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said. “We’re pleased to join forces with Boeing and the USO to show our gratitude and appreciation for the men and women who serve our country.’’

    A longtime supporter of the U.S. military, Fisher he went on a USO Tour to visit with the troops in the Persian Gulf in 2009 and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2011 to raise funds and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project.

    RAM-BLING

    Rookie safety T.J. McDonald, on injured reserve/designated return with a broken leg, is out of his cast. He was a spectator at practice on Thursday. McDonald, a third-round draft choice in April, was injured late in the San Francisco game and must sit out at least eight weeks before returning to action.


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    Re: Saffold back at practice, anxious to work his way back into the lineup ..

    “I’ve taken some reps; I expect to play (in Carolina on Sunday),’’ said Saffold, whose contract runs through the end of the season. “At the same time, it’s going to be (the coaches’) decision and if they feel like they’re putting me in harm’s way, they’re not going to put me in.

    How about if they think they are putting Bradford in harms ways by starting a player still working on the basics. What I like to do is go out before practice and work on a couple of drills on my own, trying to get my steps right, to get my hands right.

    I hope they don't start him he said he's 90 to 100 percent? Wait until after the bye week please.

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    Re: Saffold back at practice, anxious to work his way back into the lineup ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    “I hope they don't start him he said he's 90 to 100 percent? Wait until after the bye week please.

    “We’re fired up that he’s back — he’s doing a good job — and we’ll see how the practice week goes,’’ Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. “But again, whoever we put out there, they’re going to know the plan and they’re going to play it well. I think (Barksdale’s) done very well. He’s been a big part of our success the last couple of weeks, running the ball, and there’s certainly something to chemistry. But that group is a bunch of veterans; they plug in and whoever gets called, they’re always ready to go.’’
    My guess is Saffold will not be seeing the field for a while if Barky stays healthy.

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    Re: Saffold back at practice, anxious to work his way back into the lineup ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    “I’ve taken some reps; I expect to play (in Carolina on Sunday),’’ said Saffold, whose contract runs through the end of the season. “At the same time, it’s going to be (the coaches’) decision and if they feel like they’re putting me in harm’s way, they’re not going to put me in.
    That would be putting him on the football field. Anyone for an over/under on how many snaps until Saffold is hurt again?
    PARamfan likes this.

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    Re: Saffold back at practice, anxious to work his way back into the lineup ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    My guess is Saffold will not be seeing the field for a while if Barky stays healthy.
    You're probably right with that assumption.

    Amigo Rodger, with all due respect, don't rush things. One, two more weeks, yes?

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    Re: Saffold back at practice, anxious to work his way back into the lineup ..

    Saffold's sense of entitlement has always irked me.

    I have a feeling he's gone after this year, and it'll be good riddance.


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    Re: Saffold back at practice, anxious to work his way back into the lineup ..

    Not sold on him...it was his job to win on the left side, but didn't and got moved to the right. The NFL expects "fragile" QBs but not fragile lineman--that alone is a career ender and durability has been an issue. Its not a stretch that the Rams will go shopping and if they find a better deal, its especially possible he might find himself as a depth player warm a spot on the bench

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    Re: Saffold back at practice, anxious to work his way back into the lineup ..

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    That would be putting him on the football field. Anyone for an over/under on how many snaps until Saffold is hurt again?
    I'm thinking two because there is no under to one unless he stubs his little toe on a locker getting dressed.

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