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

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

    Wow, the injury bug strikes yet again.


    • #3
      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!:ram:


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      • eldfan
        St. Louis Rams 09-17-2010
        by eldfan
        St. Louis Rams St. Louis Rams
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        USA TODAY
        Posted 12h 36m ago

        For some high-profile young offensive players, Sunday's game in Oakland will present some challenges.
        The Rams' "triangle" that includes quarterback Sam Bradford and tackles Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith will have to contend with the noise that occurs for road games as well as the unique atmosphere that exists at Raiders games.

        Said Bradford, "I actually talked to (running back) Steven (Jackson) a little bit about it. He said he played there once earlier in his career and he said it was a very hostile environment. The fans are loud, they yell some improper things, I guess, at times. But at the same time, he said it was a fun environment to play in - that's part of the game. Any time you have the opportunity to play on the road in front of a crowd like Oakland's you have to embrace the opportunity and look forward to it, which is what I'm doing."

        Saffold joked that his father told him "to keep your helmet on."

        The rookie left tackle got solid reviews for his first start last Sunday against Arizona.

        Said coach Steve Spagnuolo, "He had a couple issues where he misfired, but for a rookie going in there and playing left tackle, I thought he did a pretty good job."

        Saffold said, "I thought I did pretty well. I definitely think there are some things I need to work on. There are a lot of shifts, a lot of movements that came that I needed to attend to the next day in the corrections meeting and now I just feel better about playing next week. I think I got a good view of how to play throughout a game not just the first half or first series."

        In addition, Saffold had to make adjustments, which was a significant learning experience.

        "(There were) a lot of people in different positions," he said. "So I was going against everybody and making sure that I understand the full, big picture. That's the only way to be effective because sometimes you have got to be able to grab things on the run, especially safety blitzes and things like that."

        Asked what made the biggest impression on him, Saffold said, "How physical it. I got up Monday morning and felt like I got hit by a truck."

        Despite Oakland's 38-13 loss to Tennessee, the Rams know they will be in a for a fight in the Raiders' home opener.

        "As a team, and especially on defense, they're really fast," Spagnuolo said. "Across the secondary, really up front and at linebacker. This will be a challenging defense for us just like last week was."

        Said Bradford, "You know, they're going to challenge us. They're going to get in our face, they're going to play a lot of man coverage. Obviously, Nnamdi (Asomugha) is one of the best corners in the...
        -09-17-2010, 09:06 AM
      • eldfan
        Rams team report
        by eldfan
        USA TODAY

        In 2008, he tried to play with a quad injury in a key division game against Arizona. Last year, he played five of the final six games of the season with a herniated disk in his back and nerve pain in his leg even though the team had only one victory.
        Maybe it's no surprise then, that Rams running back Steven Jackson did everything he humanly could to be on the field Sunday for his team's game against the Seattle Seahawks despite the partially torn groin he had suffered the week before against the Washington Redskins.

        His team. Jackson is one of several veteran leaders on a very young football team, and as he peeled off three layers of protective padding following the surprisingly easy 20-3 win, he stated simply, "I was not able to run full speed. But as a leader, you can't preach one thing and do something else."

        What he did was gut out a 70-yard rushing effort, adding 54 receiving yards, the bulk of which came on a 49-yard run with a screen pass that led to a third-quarter touchdown and a 17-3 lead.

        Asked if the injury affected him, Jackson said, "Absolutely," then laughed and added, "Did you see that run?"

        He admitted to consciously thinking on that run not to try and run too fast and "overextend myself, taking smaller steps," minimizing the chance of aggravating the injury.

        But he simply wasn't going to miss this game.

        "I knew I had enough to give what coach would need out of me," Jackson said. "I wanted to come out and be a part of something. I felt that this team is going in the right direction, and I just wanted to be a part of it today.

        "It's been a long time — 2004 (since beating Seattle). I know we have a philosophy around here that we don't look back. But sometimes you just can't help but think about some of the hardship that this organization has been through. For us to be able to get a win against Seattle at home, a divisional win, it means a lot to me. I think it means a lot to the guys that are in this locker room."

        During the week, Jackson did very little on the field. Off the field was another story. There was still a pocket of blood in his groin area on Thursday, "so there was quite a bit of swelling," he said. "Just continued to work hard. I would literally ... I would take a stim (muscle stimulation) machine home with me. I was doing acupuncture; I was doing everything. I was literally stimming myself at four in the morning trying to make sure that I could get whatever edge, whatever I could do to get back on the field. All I can say is, I just thank God it worked out."

        Then, there was the work of the training and medical staff to protect him as much as possible.

        "Look at all of this stuff that kept me together," he said after the game. "They got so many...
        -10-05-2010, 01:02 PM
      • eldfan
        Rams team report
        by eldfan
        USA TODAY

        Quarterback Sam Bradford is expected to play Sunday when the Rams travel to Cleveland to play the Browns, but it's possible he won't have a full week of practice.
        Bradford suffered a high ankle sprain on the final play of the team's Oct. 16 game against Green Bay. He missed the next two games against Dallas and New Orleans.

        Last week, he practiced for the first time on Thursday, throwing only in wide receiver drills. On Friday, he took about half the reps in the team segments of practice, and then played the entire game in the loss to Arizona.

        Asked afterward how the ankle felt, Bradford said, "Pretty sore. I kind of knew that coming into the game. I expected it to be a little sore. I don't think it's anything major."

        Monday, coach Steve Spagnuolo said Bradford had a boot back on his left foot solely as a precaution and to rest the ankle. But, he acknowledged that it wasn't a given that Bradford would be OK to fully participate in practice beginning Wednesday.

        "He's a day-to-day with this Wednesday practice," Spagnuolo said. "These high ankle sprains, you get them to a certain point, you go and play, then they go back a little. So, let's see how far back we are. What you don't want to do during the week is set him back and get him sore that he can't go on Sunday. So, we're going to have to play that balancing game throughout the week."

        As for his performance against the Cardinals, Bradford said were "a couple" of instances where it hurt more than others. "I noticed it a few times but I don't really think it affected me that much out there," he said.

        Said Spagnuolo, "He went out there and played and he did some really good things. I think our team was sparked by the fact that he was out there playing. I think he showed a tremendous amount of courage to go out there and hang in there and stay in there with all the things that the quarterback has to face.

        "Protect himself, get the ball out on time, I thought it was admirable what he did. I'm sure he'll tell you that he wished he would have played better in certain areas. I'll tell you what, that's not easy to do."

        —To a man, the Rams were stunned they were in the locker room talking about a loss after Arizona won 19-13 in overtime Sunday on a 99-yard punt return by rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson.

        That play didn't happen long after a 42-yard field-goal attempt by Josh Brown that would have won the game in regulation was blocked.

        Said quarterback Sam Bradford, "It's probably the toughest loss I've had since I've been in the league. I felt like, for the most part, we controlled this game. At the end with the opportunities we had in their territory to possibly go ahead and not convert on those, it's tough. It's going to be tough watching film tomorrow."...
        -11-09-2011, 12:29 PM
      • MauiRam
        Friday Notes/OTA Report
        by MauiRam
        Posted Fri, June 04, 2010 02:25
        by Nick Wagoner

        - The Rams have wrapped up OTAs for this week and will get back at it on Monday morning.

        - On Friday, the team worked on a lot of two-minute drill stuff and the competition on the field was as entertaining to watch as any OTA thus far. Before we dive into that, we'll knock out some news.

        - In Thursday's practice, tackle Rodger Saffold suffered what is being called a mild knee sprain. The injury is not believed to be serious but it will likely keep Saffold out of the rest of OTAs, according to coach Steve Spagnuolo. The Rams believe Saffold could potentially return but Spagnuolo says the team does not want to rush him into anything so he'll be at full strength in time for training camp.

        - In other injury news, there isn't much to add. Defensive end C.J. Ah You appears to be coming back well from knee surgery. He's doing more than was anticipated at this point in camp.

        - Quarterback Sam Bradford spoke to the media after practice and discussed his progression so far. Bradford says he is feeling much more comfortable and things are coming more naturally to him just three weeks into his time working with the veterans.

        - Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui continues to impress and caught a long touchdown pass down the middle during team drills. He has much better hands than the scouting reports seemed to indicate.

        - Overall, it was a pretty even practice in terms of competition. Both sides took turns having success.

        - Don't forget: if you want your first glimpse of Sam Bradford's throwing arm, come out to Busch Stadium tonight to see the Cardinals take on the Brewers. Bradford and the Rams rookie class will be on the field before the game and Bradford will throw out the first pitch, apparently to fellow Oklahoma native and Cards LF Matt Holliday.

        - Bradford admitted he's a bit nervous to throw the pitch since he hasn't played baseball since eighth grade but my inside sources say he's been practicing and is in fine form.

        - The Rams will have OTAs on Monday and Tuesday of next week before the full squad minicamp begins Thursday running through Saturday.
        -06-04-2010, 11:12 PM
      • MauiRam
        Coach Steve Spagnuolo on Day One ..
        by MauiRam
        Posted >Tue, May 18, 2010 03:15
        by Nick Wagoner

        - Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo discussed a variety of topics after Tuesday's practice. Here's the transcript from that conversation.

        (Opening remarks)
        “Let me hit you with injuries. Roger Allen didn’t practice. You know about him. Danny Fells, that’s from the end of the season. You guys know about Steven (Jackson) and Chris Massey. Jacob Bell was the one that was not out there. Last week, Monday or Tuesday during our running program, (he had) a little issue with his knee. He had an MRI, so they did a scope on it today. Now he’ll probably miss four to six weeks, which means he won’t be in the OTA’s but he’ll be fine for training camp. So the thought was get it taken care of so we’re okay for training camp. Everybody else was either limited or participated full. I thought they got after it pretty good. The Good Lord cooperated with the weather, and it was just great to be out here. Having said that, I’ll open it up.”

        (On Bell’s specific injury)
        “It’s a knee, I can’t remember whether it was left or right. The way it was explained to me was there were just loose bodies in there. He’s had…I think prior, before he came here he had an issue with it, and it was more of a cleanup than anything else. But it was bothering him and we figured we’d do it now.”

        (On Steven Jackson’s timetable)
        “We’re hoping to get some OTA’s at the end, but not going to push anything. We’re going to tread lightly. He’s done great. He’s been out there, he’s been in the pool, he’s been rehabbing. He’s done everything you can do except for be out here and do the football, but we’ll basically, I hate to sound redundant, but we’ll go day to day on that.”

        (On if Jackson will be ready for contact by training camp)
        “That’s what we anticipate, yeah.”

        (On if Jackson hoped rest alone would help his back recover)
        “It was one of those things you hope you go… I think we’d all want to do that, and it has worked that way before. It just didn’t work this time, so he had a procedure done.”

        (On Bradley Fletcher’s status)
        “I don’t think I mentioned Bradley. He’s a limited guy right now, so he was out there doing some individual but didn’t do any of the team stuff. So he doesn’t get in anything competitive. But he’s just starting to do change of direction and hopeful that… I can’t really say that. I don’t know where he’ll be for training camp. We’ll just wait and see.”

        (On how WR Brooks Foster is coming along)
        “Great. I’ll tell you what, he’s had a tremendous offseason. I told him the other day he just looks like a different person. He just looks like a different man. These guys come here young looking out of college, but he looks like a man to me. I can’t tell you how he did today, just I can’t see all of it, but I thought he had a great offseason so...
        -05-18-2010, 11:05 PM