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Saffold Returns To Practice, Probably Won’t Play Until Next Week At Carolina

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By Cedric Williams

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Daryl Richardson #26 of the St. Louis Rams is tackled by Peria Jerry #94 and Thomas DeCoud #28 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on September 15, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Credit, Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

For the first time in nearly a month, right tackle Rodger Saffold was able to practice with his St. Louis Rams teammates on Thursday, as they prepared for Sunday’s NFL Week 6 matchup against the Houston Texans.

Saffold, who has been battling injuries all season, suffered a medial collateral ligament injury to his left knee back on September 15 when the Rams were playing the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 and hasn’t been able to do much of anything football-related, until he was able to get out on the field and do some limited work with the scout team on Thursday.

“It’s cool to be out there and go with the guys again,” Saffold said. “I know I’ve got to shake a bunch of rust off, get back into the groove.”

The fourth-year man out of Indiana won’t likely play against Houston this week. He will instead most likely be ready to go next Sunday, when the Rams take on the Carolina Panthers.

Saffold’s injury issues began on the second play of St. Louis first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. He suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for most of the rest of the preseason.

The 6’5, 315-pounder was able to return in time to start the Rams season opener against the Arizona Cardinals, and he played that entire game, as St. Louis won 27-24.

But in the second quarter of the next game at Atlanta, Saffold fell awkwardly while being pushed over by a would-be pass rusher and had to be helped off the field.

That was the last time anyone saw Saffold on the field, until his return to practice on Thursday.

RB Stacy, DLs Hayes and Conrath also back at practice

The Rams got good news in other places on the injury front as well on Thursday, as new starting running back Zac Stacy and reserve defensive linemen William Hayes and Matt Conrath were also able to practice again, after either missing practice on Wednesday or working out in a limited capacity.

Stacy, who has sore ribs after rushing for 78 yards on 14 carries in his first NFL start last week, told reporters after practice that sitting out Wednesday was more of a precautionary measure since he still had four more days before the game.

Hayes, who has a knee injury, and Conrath, who had been out with a concussion, both did only limited work on Wednesday.

On Thursday though, Conrath was able to practice fully, while Hayes once again on participated in certain drills.

Houston Has 20 Players on Its Injury Report

The Texans released an injury report on Thursday, which included 20 players (nearly 40 percent of the entire roster).

At least half of those players either didn’t practice at all or were limited in what they could do at Houston’s practice on Thursday.

Among the injured for the Texans were starting running back Arian Foster (thumb/, starting wide receiver Andre Johnson (shin), inside linebacker Brian Cushing (knee), and reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt (nose), all of whom are expected to play Sunday against the Rams.

St. Louis Rams Injury Report

  • Player ………………… Pos … Injury
  • Rodger Saffold …….. OT …. Knee
  • William Hayes ……… DE …. Knee
  • Cortland Finnegan .. CB …. Thigh
  • Zac Stacy ……………. RB …. Chest
  • Matt Conrath ……….. DT …. Concussion

Houston Texans Injury Report

  • Player ………………… Pos … Injury
  • Tim Dobbins ………… LB … Hamstring
  • Andre Johnson ……. WR … Shin
  • Keshawn Martin …… WR … Shoulder
  • Darryl Sharpton ……. LB … Foot
  • Wade Smith ………… OG … Knee
  • Bryan Braman ……… LB … Neck/Knee
  • Brandon Brooks …… OG … Toe
  • Duane Brown ………. OT … Toe
  • Arian Foster ………… RB … Thumb/Chest
  • Ed Reed ………………. S … Knee
  • Brian Cushing ……… LB … Knee
  • Brice McCain ………. CB … Knee
  • Chris Myers …………. C … Biceps
  • Derek Newton …….. OT … Knee
  • Eddie Pleasant …….. S … Ankle
  • DeVier Posey ……… WR … Achilles
  • Antonio Smith ……… DE … Quadricep
  • Ben Tate …………….. RB … Elbow
  • J.J. Watt …………….. DE … Nose
  • Ryan Harris ………… OT … Elbow

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 cedricwilliams510@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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