Monday, September 10, 2012
Around the NFC West: Saffold's outlook
By Mike Sando
Watching medical personnel transport left tackle Rodger Saffold off the field on a stretcher board had to be tough on a personal level for the St. Louis Rams.
The football implications, though dire, mattered less.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the news on Saffold has been positive following the Rams' 27-23 defeat at Detroit. Coach Jeff Fisher: "What I can report to you is that is that he's conscious, he's alert, he had strength and movement in his arms and legs. So it's more of a precautionary deal, and we'll get information to you as soon as we can." Noted: Teams generally keep seven offensive linemen active for game days. The Rams had only five available to them after Saffold and center Scott Wells (foot) left the game. Their left tackle, left guard and center changed over the course of the game.
Also from Thomas: The Rams lost when Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford found his absolute last option, running back Kevin Smith, for the winning touchdown. Lions coach Jim Schwartz: "Kevin's the last option on that play, probably behind throwing it away."
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch saw positive signs for the Rams despite the defeat. Miklasz: "Last season the Rams broke down and gave way as soon as the injuries hit them, but they shook off the adversity in Detroit. When the Rams lost starting offensive linemen Scott Wells and Rodger Saffold to injuries, they plugged in two unproven backups and shoved their way to a fourth-quarter lead. Quarterback Sam Bradford missed connecting on two long passes with poor throws. The Lions got to Bradford a few times, and put a hurt on him, but Bradford stayed strong. He rallied the Rams offense with two fourth-quarter scoring drives and put his team in position to win."
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com gives Bradford a "B" grade on his Rams report card. Gordon: "He demonstrated excellent touch on his 23-yard TD strike to Brandon Gibson. He marched his team for the go-ahead field goal inside the last two minutes. But he caught a break when teammates scrambled after his fumble and prevented a disastrous turnover; Harvey Dahl ended up with the ball. Had he put some more oomph! into his early bomb to Chris Givens, he could have had an epic statistical game."
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com offers postgame notes, calling it a bad sign Wells could not return to the game.