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Rookie Safety T.J. McDonald On Pace For Week 12 Return

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By Cedric Williams

The progression of rookie safety T.J. McDonalds’ health was the first subject broached by St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher after practice on Thursday.

And the prognosis was good, as McDonald looks to return to practice and eventually game play, after suffering a fractured leg during the second half of St. Louis’ September 26 Thursday Night Football matchup against the San Francisco 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome.

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 26: T.J. McDonald #25 of the St. Louis Rams is carted off the field after suffering a knee injury during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome on September 26, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

(Credit, Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

McDonald was placed on the injured reserved/designated to return list, which meant the first-year pro out of Stanford could not practice for six weeks and couldn’t play in a game for eight. That timeline means McDonald could return to practice as soon as next week, when the Rams have a bye, and that he would be eligible to play in a game on December 1, when St. Louis travels to San Francisco for a rematch against the 49ers.

“He’s progressing nicely,” Fisher said on Thursday. “He’s actually on land running right now, so that’s a huge step for him. We won’t have any problems with the timing of that.”

McDonald started each of the Rams first four games, and though he struggled with some missed tackles, he did seem to have a firm grasp on the team’s defensive playbook. He was rarely found out of position or caught lining up incorrectly.

The 6’2, 217-pounder was also developing a reputation as someone more than ready to lay a big hit on someone. The Rams (3-6) have struggled in that area without him, making his return all the more important to a club that still holds slim playoff aspirations this season.

Zac Stacy Routine Stays The Same

Another Rams rookie battling an injury is running back Zac Stacy (foot), who returned to practice in a limited capacity on Thursday, after sitting out on Wednesday.

There should be little cause for alarm though, as Stacy has sat out St. Louis’ Wednesday practice each of the last four weeks, then practiced lightly on Thursday, before going full-bore on Fridays and Saturdays.

It’s become his weekly routine, and has worked with tremendous results, as Stacy has put up progressively better numbers each week, including the last two weeks, when he registered back-to-back 100-yard rushing games against Tennessee and Seattle.

Only three other players were listed on the Rams injury report, guard Harvey Dahl (knee), quarterback Brady Quinn (hip), and tight end Lance Kendricks (hand) all sat out practice for the second straight day.

All three are expected to miss Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.

ST. LOUIS RAMS Injury Report

Player ………………. Pos … Injury

  • Zac Stacy ………….. RB …. Foot
  • Harvey Dahl ……… OG …. Knee
  • Brady Quinn ……… QB …. Hip
  • Lance Kendricks … TE …. Hand

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS Injury Report

  • Josh Chapman ….. NT …. Knee
  • Josh Gordy ………. CB …. Groin
  • Delano Howell ……. S ….. Neck
  • Robert Mathis …… DE …. Shoulder
  • Trent Richardson .. RB …. Ankle
  • Hugh Thornton ….. OG …. Calf
  • Greg Toler ………… CB …. Groin
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey  WR …. Shoulder
  • Cam Johnson ……. LB …. 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 cedricwilliams510@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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