By Cedric Williams
During Monday’s late afternoon practice at the Rams Park training facility in Earth City, the St. Louis Rams had nine players that either couldn’t go or could only participate in certain drills the day after the club’s 31-7 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. On Tuesday, seven of those players were back at full capacity, with plans on playing in this week’s special Thursday Night Football showdown at the Edward Jones Dome against the rival San Francisco 49ers.
Six of those seven players that returned to practice on Tuesday were starters, including RB Daryl Richardson (foot); left tackle Jake Long (foot); left guard Chris Williams (foot); wide receiver Chris Givens (knee); middle linebacker James Laurinaitis (foot); and safety T.J. McDonald (knee).
The other player who was limited on Monday, but full-go again on Tuesday, was backup tight end Mike McNeill.
Perhaps the most important name among those returning players is Richardson, who won the Rams number one tailback job during training camp, but has gotten off to a slow start, with just 98 yards on 30 carries through St. Louis’ first three games.
The second-year man out of Abilene Christian, who rushed for 475 yards as the primary backup to Steven Jackson last year, didn’t play Sunday against the Cowboys, and many feel that was a key reason why St. Louis struggled to move the ball on the ground against Dallas.
The Rams are currently ranked 29th (out of 32 teams) in rushing this season.
“We all expected Daryl to be kind of the guy that gives us that immediate top-level player,” offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said after practice on Tuesday. “He’s been slowed down a little bit just with some nicks and stuff but when he’s healthy, he’s got a bunch of ability.”
None of the Rams players or coaches were available for comment on Wednesday, and at press time the team had not updated its Wednesday injury report, so the speculation will continue as to whether Richardson will be able to play on Thursday.
Right tackle Rodger Saffold (knee) and defensive end William Hayes (hip) didn’t practice on Monday or Tuesday, and neither is expected to play before the Rams Week 5 contest (October 6) at home against Jacksonville.
One other player who didn’t practice on Tuesday was tackle Joe Barksdale. No official statement was made about why Barksdale wasn’t at practice, but it was listed as a non-injury related absence from the team.
San Francisco has 13 players listed on its injury report, all of whom were either limited or didn’t practice at all on Monday or Tuesday.
Those 13 49ers include: Nnamdi Asomugha (knee); Raymond Ventrone (concussion); Patrick Willis (groin); Navorro Bowman (wrist); Anthony Davis (shoulder); Vernon Davis (hamstring); Jonathan Goodwin (elbow); Ray McDonald (ankle); Justin Smith (shoulder); Kyle Williams (ribs); Frank Gore (knee); Mike Iupati (shoulder); Carlos Rogers (knee).
ST. LOUIS RAMS Injury Report
Player …………. Pos … Injury
Rodger Saffold ….. OT …. Knee
William Hayes …… DE …. Hip
Chris Givens ……. WR …. Knee
James Laurinaitis .. LB …. Foot
Mike McNeill ……. TE …. Chest
T.J. McDonald …… S ….. Knee
Chris Williams ….. OG …. Foot
Daryl Richardson … RB …. Foot
Jake Long ………. OT …. Foot
Joe Barksdale …… OT …. Not Injury Related
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS Injury Report
Player ………….. Pos … Injury
Nnamdi Asomugha ….. CB …. Knee
Raymond Ventrone …. S ….. Concussion
Patrick Willis …… LB …. Groin
Navarro Bowman …… LB …. Wrist
Anthony Davis ……. LB …. Shoulder
Vernon Davis …….. TE …. Hamstring
Jonathan Goodwin …. C ….. Elbow
Ray McDonald …….. DT …. Ankle
Justin Smith …….. DT …. Shoulder
Kyle Williams ……. WR …. Ribs
Frank Gore ………. RB …. Knee
Mike Iupati ……… OG …. Shoulder
Carlos Rogers ……. CB …. Knee
For more Rams news and updates, visit Rams Central.
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a freelance reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the Rams and small-school college sports for Examiner.com and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can be found on Examiner.com.