NFC West: Rodger Saffold

Rams in good shape heading into Sunday

December, 5, 2014
12/05/14
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams are relatively healthy for a team entering its 13th game of the season Sunday against the Washington Redskins. They list nine players on the official injury report, but every one of them is listed as probable this week.

That includes guard Rodger Saffold (shoulder) and defensive end Chris Long (ankle) who did not practice the past two days but were back on the field Friday and look ready to go.

Receiver Tavon Austin was added to the injury report with a back ailment but he's also listed as probable after he was limited Friday. End William Hayes, who did not practice all week as he dealt with a death in the family, is expected to rejoin the team in Washington.

Here's Friday's full injury report:

Probable: DE Hayes (not injury related), G Davin Joseph (not injury related), C Scott Wells (not injury related), CB Marcus Roberson (ankle), DE Long (ankle), G Saffold (shoulder), LB Will Herring (foot), WR Austin (back), LB James Laurinaitis (ankle).

Rams Thursday injury report

December, 4, 2014
12/04/14
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams spent their Thursday night practice indoors at Rams Park, but that doesn't figure to be the plan Friday.

As they prepare for rain in the forecast Sunday in Washington, the Rams will likely be outside Friday in order to prepare. Also helping them prepare Thursday was a reduced injury report, with most hands on deck.

They were without end Chris Long (ankle) and guard Rodger Saffold (shoulder), but for the most part the Rams seem relatively healthy at this point in the season. There is still plenty of hope that both Long and Saffold will be ready to play at Washington.

Here's the full breakdown from Thursday's injury report:
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- In the week leading up to Sunday's 52-0 win against the Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold said and did all the right things.

Saffold
In revisiting the offseason fiasco in which he agreed to a lucrative contract with Oakland only to have it vetoed by a failed physical, Saffold acknowledged that he'd look forward to playing his almost team but didn't want to give too much credence to the revenge narrative. But after the game, Saffold conceded that the win tasted a little sweeter.

Dressed in a black suit with a black shirt and a black tie, Saffold said he was dressed for a Raiders funeral and he wished the Rams had put up 76 points. Alas, he had to settle for the 52-point win, a win that was tied for the fourth biggest shutout victory since the NFL-AFL merger.

"Guys on this team will always be right there and if we fall short we'll come out and play a complete game," Saffold said. "It’s a team win."

While Saffold got the ultimate satisfaction of the convincing win, the Raiders' decision to part ways with him did get further validation. The oft-injured Saffold has been dealing with a shoulder problem most of the season and left the game after playing 31 snaps. It's the same shoulder that led to Oakland failing him on his physical. Mike Person replaced Saffold in the lineup.

Saffold said the shoulder won't prevent him from playing next week in Washington, though.

"It’s not going to get better until after the season but the way I play, I play hard and sometimes it’s so hard I end up hurting myself," Saffold said. "But it’s all OK because I’m going to battle these next four games. I’m not finished until the season is finished."

Saffold plans to have surgery to fix the shoulder in the offseason, but for one day, the pain evaporated as the Rams rang up the points.

"It’s a great feeling," Saffold said. "My shoulder hurts less after a game like this."

 

 

Tre Mason predicted big day ... sort of

November, 30, 2014
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ST. LOUIS -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the St. Louis Rams' 52-0 win against the Oakland Raiders:

Mason
Mason's proclamations: Before Sunday's game, Rams running back Tre Mason apparently spent some time offering bold predictions and goals for him and his teammates. He told coach Jeff Fisher and other players that he was going to have a big day and the team would put up 50-plus points.

Mason had 164 yards on 17 touches to go with three touchdowns, and the team scored 52 points on its way to a win. But before you ask Mason for the Powerball numbers ...

"That’s not the first time he’s said it, so," Fisher said, laughing. "He’s very confident. He loves to play."

Playing through pain: Two Rams defensive ends played through some difficult personal situations Sunday against the Raiders. Fisher said ends Eugene Sims and William Hayes both lost loved ones during the week and mustered the energy to play through it. Sims did not practice all week to tend to the matter and Hayes' loss was Saturday night.

"Eugene Sims lost a loved one this week, and Will Hayes lost one last night," Fisher said. "You watch the tape and watch those two play ... really, really impressive. Our hearts go out to their families."

Saffold says he's fine: Left guard Rodger Saffold departed Sunday's game in the second half with an apparent shoulder injury. Mike Person replaced him, and Saffold did not return to the game. Saffold, who plans to have shoulder surgery after the season, said after the game he should be OK and be ready to go next week. He followed a similar pattern when he had a similar injury last month.

Rams hope to offer respite for Ferguson

November, 28, 2014
11/28/14
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Like many people in the St. Louis area right now, the St. Louis Rams have a helpless feeling when it comes to what's going on in nearby Ferguson.

"Well, you know, there’s a bunch of things going on down in Ferguson," guard Rodger Saffold said. "Those are our neighbors and our neighboring community, so our hearts go out to them and our hearts go out to basically everybody who has been affected by it. So we’re just trying to play a game and try to help people watch football and have a good time."

One such opportunity is coming this Sunday when the Rams are scheduled to host the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome. Despite rumors to the contrary, the game is expected to go on as scheduled though the Rams have plans to beef up security in and around the stadium.

[+] EnlargeScott Wells
AP Photo/Rick ScuteriScott Wells said he's hoping that upcoming Rams games can provide an escape for those having to deal with unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
That's a direct result of the fallout from the grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown. That decision has led to unrest in the Ferguson area with buildings burning and businesses being looted. It's all happening less than 15 minutes from Rams Park, where the Rams meet and practice every day.

And although the Rams have been going about their business on the football field, they are quick to point out the events happening in Ferguson should not be ignored.

"You keep a close eye on it," defensive end Chris Long said. "I’d keep a close eye on that situation no matter where it was in America but it happens to be in our backyard. Ferguson is a neighboring community to where a lot of us live and we care a great deal about our community and this country. It’s a big time right now. You just hope something good comes of it. You pray for that community and hope they are able to heal in Ferguson and pray for them and pray everybody can protest peacefully and safely and come out alive."

Yes, what's happening right now goes well beyond the boundaries of a football field. The Rams are well aware of that, as evidenced by the efforts they have made to reach out and help when possible.

Over the summer, the Rams hosted the three Ferguson-area high schools at their training facility. McCluer, McCluer North and McCluer-South Berkeley spent a week practicing at Rams Park and even popped in to a Rams practice to watch for a day during training camp. It was the most spirited practice of the summer as the high school players provided more enthusiasm than the run-of-the-mill training camp workout would normally have.

Long calls that practice the highlight of his camp and noted that he continued following some of the players on social media afterward to keep tabs on how the teams were doing. The Rams also provided free tickets to the teams for a preseason game.

Those were small, simple gestures that went a long way for those kids in a stressful time. Now that those stressful times have resurfaced, the Rams are trying to find more ways to help. They provided more than 2,000 Thanksgiving meals to local families in need earlier this week.

But they also know with the civil unrest still stirring, the best thing they can do is try to become a positive distraction every Sunday.

"I can only go back to when I was a kid and thinking about watching football -- it was a little bit of an escape," center Scott Wells said. "Because when I’m watching the game I wasn’t really thinking about anything else. For that three hours, three and a half hours, I’d like to think it provides a little bit of an escape and hopefully three hours of entertainment."

Earlier this week, Rams coach Jeff Fisher spoke to the team about what's happening in Ferguson, making it clear that staying attuned to what's going on is not only natural but important. He also emphasized that when the time is right, the Rams will do what they can to help out in the community again.

In the meantime, all the Rams can do is try to provide an entertaining diversion.

"The issues at play are 100 times bigger than sports," Long said. "We’re just athletes. If sports can provide a little relief and allow people to kind of come together as a community and watch a game and forget about the tough things that are going on, then I hope that can help out. It would be a big assumption to think that sports can fix everything. But hopefully for three hours it can just kind of help out a little bit."

Wounded Rams take it easy Wednesday

October, 29, 2014
10/29/14
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- With so many injuries and a familiar opponent waiting on Sunday, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher took it easy on his team Wednesday.

Instead of a normal midweek practice, the Rams went through an hour-long walkthrough before heading inside for a team activity believed to include some yoga.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said the different approach was taken as a direct result of the team's lengthy injury report.

"I had 13 people on the injury report and I felt like we needed to back down today," Fisher said. "Our focus is having them ready at 1 o'clock on Sunday."

The 13 players on the injury report is in addition to the season-ending losses of left tackle Jake Long and receiver Brian Quick earlier this week.

Fisher said he felt comfortable going with the different Wednesday approach because of the team's familiarity with the 49ers and the short turnaround between games. The Rams and Niners just met on Oct. 13.

"We're familiar with them," Fisher said. "They've had a week off. We've basically had a day off. We're gonna get going tomorrow and go play."

Because the team participated in a walkthrough rather than a practice, it would seem to make filling out an injury report a tricky proposition. Some players can walk but might not have been able to practice.

Fisher explained that league protocol requires the team to estimate how much practice a player would have done had it been a normal practice. The result was a group of eight players listed as not participating and five more listed as limited participation.

"Because you don't practice full speed, you have to estimate had you had a full practice, what would they have done?" Fisher said. "We went ahead and did that and were accurate with that and we'll get some players back tomorrow I'm sure and then more and more players back on Friday."

Here's the team's full Wednesday injury report:

Did not participate: DE William Hayes (foot), G Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder), S Rodney McLeod (knee), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), C Scott Wells (elbow) and S Cody Davis (concussion).

Limited participation: CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Tim Barnes (shoulder), WR Kenny Britt (hip), CB Marcus Roberson (ankle), CB Lamarcus Joyner (hip).
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher watched helplessly as five starters departed his team's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns with injuries. He said at the time he'd never been a part of anything like it.

Saffold
Much to his chagrin, Fisher got to see something else he hadn't seen before in Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, when he watched as six key players -- left tackle Jake Long, receiver Brian Quick, guard Rodger Saffold, center Scott Wells and safeties Rodney McLeod and Cody Davis -- depart with various ailments that did not return. Defensive end Williams Hayes was also spotted leaving the locker room on crutches.

“No, it’s not happened to me before," Fisher said. "It was highly unusual, just losing the number of players that we did in the game.”

Fisher offered updates on the status of Long and Quick, both of whom were lost for the season with knee and shoulder injuries, respectively. But from the sound of things, none of the other issues were serious enough to offer an update.

The Rams spent Monday doing additional tests on the rest of the players, including a deeper inspection of Saffold's shoulder and Wells' elbow. Fisher did acknowledge that Davis would go through the concussion protocol after suffering that injury in Sunday's game.

Otherwise, all Fisher would allow is that the Rams will have some players missing practice this week as they prepare for this weekend's trip to San Francisco.

"We’re going to have a number of players that will not be available for practice in the middle of the week, so we’ll just go kind of day-to-day with them," Fisher said.

The Rams also will make some roster adjustments this week, as they will have to replace Long and Quick on the active roster and might have to tweak the practice squad in order to have enough bodies at certain positions for practice.

On a better injury note, Fisher said cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins might be able to return this week.

“There’s a chance, yeah," Fisher said. "(Johnson) made progress last week. Matter of fact, in the pregame, well before pregame he had a really good workout with (secondary) coach (Chuck) Cecil. So, there’s a chance he could come on back. I think Janoris has a chance as well.”

Wounded Rams limp out of Kansas City

October, 26, 2014
10/26/14
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the St. Louis Rams' 34-7 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs:

Long
Walking wounded: For much of Sunday's game, it seemed the Rams couldn't go without suffering an injury every couple of plays. By the time the day was done, the Rams lost center Scott Wells (elbow), offensive tackle Jake Long (knee), guard Rodger Saffold (shoulder), receiver Brian Quick (arm) and safeties Cody Davis (concussion) and Rodney McLeod (knee). None returned after departing, and end William Hayes also left the locker room on crutches.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher offered no specific updates on any of the players but acknowledged that some of the injured would "miss some time."

Mishit kick: Fisher said kicker Greg Zuerlein's short kickoff to open the second half was a result of a mishit ball. The ball was not supposed to be a line drive. Instead, it was supposed to be high and angled to the left corner. But Zuerlein didn't hit it as he was supposed to and Kansas City returner Knile Davis took it 99 yards for a touchdown. Fisher also expressed disappointment in Zuerlein's miss on a 38-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter.

Governor's appearance: There has been speculation about the Rams' future in St. Louis, and some of that has centered on the efforts of Gov. Jay Nixon to help keep the team in the state. Nixon was spotted walking through the corridor near the Rams locker room after the game.

Rapid Reaction: St. Louis Rams

October, 26, 2014
10/26/14
4:04
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A few thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' 34-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium:

What it means: The Rams' victory over Seattle last week offered a short respite to forget about all that ails the Rams. But it took only a week for many of those problems to come bubbling to the surface again. The Rams had plenty of chances to jump out to an early lead and make Kansas City work for this one, but instead they reverted to their usual M.O. of self-destruction. Never was that more evident than a second-quarter sequence in which the Rams recovered a fumble at Kansas City's 8 and came away with zero points. The Chiefs scored 34 unanswered points, and that was that. At 2-5 with road trips to San Francisco and Arizona the next two weeks, things such as silly penalties, missed tackles and shoddy pass protection remain at the forefront for this team. Until those things change, the results will remain the same.

Stock watch: Down -- The offense, all of it. After an impressive opening drive, the Rams were wholly ineffective with the ball, with plenty of blame to be spread. Start with ineffective play calling that offered little in the way of creativity or adjustments, then go to an offensive line that was leaking from almost every position to a quarterback who forced a bad interception in the first quarter to receivers failing to create separation. You name it, the Rams did (or didn't do) all of it. All told, the Rams mustered 200 yards of offense, including just 20 in an atrocious third quarter.

Injuries pile up: Speaking of the offensive line, a group that has mostly held up on the injury front finally had the issues that seemed imminent from the start of the season. Guard Rodger Saffold, center Scott Wells and left tackle Jake Long have been injury-prone in the past few years, and it seemed to be a matter of time before it happened again. It happened all at once against Kansas City as Saffold (shoulder), Wells (elbow) and Long (knee) left the game and did not return. Receiver Brian Quick left with an arm injury and also did not come back. The Rams also took major hits at safety, where Rodney McLeod (knee) and Cody Davis (concussion) departed and did not return.

Game ball: Defensive end Robert Quinn. In an ongoing theme this season, there wasn't much to choose from here, but Quinn had his best day of the season, posting back-to-back sacks in the second quarter and forcing an Alex Smith fumble from behind in the opening quarter. After going without a sack in the season's first five games, Quinn has three in the past two weeks and seems to be coming to life.

What's next: The Rams head to San Francisco to take on the 49ers for the second time in four weeks. It will be the second game in a three-game road trip.

T.J. McDonald returns to Rams practice

October, 23, 2014
10/23/14
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- A day after the St. Louis Rams went through a practice missing a handful of key starters, they got many of them back for Thursday night's session.

Heading the list was safety T.J. McDonald, who missed Wednesday with a concussion. McDonald went through the concussion protocol and was cleared to return Thursday. He practiced on a limited basis after he said he felt a little "foggy" on Sunday night.

The Rams also got guard Rodger Saffold (knee), receiver Kenny Britt (ankle) and defensive end William Hayes (illness) back. All three practiced fully.

On the other side, running back Benny Cunningham was added to the report as a limited participant with a knee injury. Cornerback Brandon McGee was downgraded to limited participation after practicing full on Wednesday.

Here's the complete rundown from Thursday's injury report:

Did not practice: CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), C Tim Barnes (shoulder)

Limited practice: S T.J. McDonald (concussion), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), CB Brandon McGee (foot), RB Benny Cunningham (knee)

Full practice: WR Kenny Britt (ankle), DE William Hayes (illness), G Rodger Saffold (knee), DE Ethan Westbrooks (hand)
ST. LOUIS -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the St. Louis Rams' 28-26 victory against the Seattle Seahawks:

Harkey
Harkey's recovery: There was plenty of confusion about who, exactly, recovered running back Tre Mason's fumble in the final minute of the game. The officials ruled the Rams recovered it, but there wasn't much video evidence to support it. Even coach Jeff Fisher said he was already speaking to defensive coordinator Gregg Williams about what to call on the ensuing defensive series when the officials offered the pleasant surprise declaring it the Rams' ball. But tight end Cory Harkey said he was the one who managed to come out of the dog pile with the ball to preserve the victory. Harkey and offensive lineman Mike Person, who was on the field in the jumbo package, were actually fighting over the ball before realizing they were on the same side.

"We were both fighting for the ball, and I ended up with it," Harkey said. "As long as one of us ended up with it, that's all that mattered."

Saffold's health: Right guard Rodger Saffold suffered a knee injury late in the game and did not return, leaving many to wonder if the oft-injured Saffold would miss extended time again. But Fisher said Saffold could have came back into the game on the final drive, and Saffold told reporters that he'll be ready to go next week against the Kansas City Chiefs.

A clean game: Fisher and the Rams were pleased with what was their cleanest game of the season in terms of some of the self-inflicted mistakes that are common for them. They had just two penalties -- one was a delay of game they took on purpose -- allowed no sacks and had no turnovers.

Greg Robinson set for first NFL start

October, 13, 2014
10/13/14
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- After four games of relative inactivity, the St. Louis Rams' No. 2 overall pick, Greg Robinson, will make his first NFL start Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers.

Robinson
Technically, Robinson will replace right guard Davin Joseph but his addition to the starting offensive lineup will actually be at left guard. Left guard Rodger Saffold moves to right guard with Joseph heading to a reserve role.

Robinson handled the majority of the repetitions with the first team in practice all week and has apparently made enough strides to crack the lineup after spending the first four games in a backup and special teams role.

“Well I think first and foremost, you hear him making calls and understanding the system," offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. "That’s been good to see. You see him working, you see him getting reps, he’s doing a nice job. It’s a process. We saw it last year with some of those guys like (WR) Tavon (Austin) some of the younger plays it takes time. Especially for a guy coming from a school that had a limited playbook, they didn’t do a whole lot. Again, you see the confidence, you see him making calls, you see him in meetings even kind of communicating things that he wouldn’t of seen maybe three, four months ago, so that’s exciting. Again, going to be a really, really good player in this league.”

Robinson will certainly face a stiff first test against a Niners defense that boasts big names like Justin Smith, Patrick Willis and Ahmad Brooks. And he'll be doing it at a position which is still relatively new to him after leaving Auburn as the team's left tackle.

When the Rams drafted Robinson in May, they said they'd hoped Robinson could plug in at left guard right away and put him in there early in training camp. But that project got short shrift as an injury to Rodger Saffold and the time it took left tackle Jake Long to work back from knee surgery had Robinson alternating between tackle and guard.

As it turned out, Robinson wasn't ready to help right away at either spot and the Rams opted for Joseph. Since, Robinson has continued to practice at both spots but has made enough strides in his understanding of the playbook and the guard position to earn an opportunity.

"Mentally, yeah, I’ve seen him improving," Saffold said. "He’s already a big guy, strong and has some good athleticism. When he knows what to do, he does some great things so that’s what we are trying to get him to."

With Robinson settling in at left guard, Saffold will move back to the right guard spot where he excelled in 2013. Saffold has moved around plenty since being drafted in 2010, including stints at both tackle spots and now both guard spots. But there's still a bit of a re-learning curve in moving back to the right side even though he spent the final part of last season there.

"It’s another transition," Saffold said. "I wouldn’t say that it’s tough on me but it is a challenge. Whatever I’m called to do, I’ll go over there and do the job."

Rams QB Hill questionable for Sunday

September, 19, 2014
9/19/14
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EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams quarterback Shaun Hill was limited in practice for the third day in a row and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, coach Jeff Fisher said Friday afternoon.

 Hill has been battling a thigh injury since the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings and made progress this week by doing at least a little work in practice but he will once again be considered a game time decision.

Last week, Fisher called Hill a game time decision and the Rams ultimately kept Hill active but only as a third quarterback for emergency situations. It's possible he could fill a similar role this week.

Austin Davis again took nearly all of the repetitions with the first team in practice and would again get the call to start should Hill not be ready to go.

Elsewhere on the injury report, the Rams remain a little banged up at cornerback. Brandon McGee (foot) and Trumaine Johnson (knee) did not practice Friday. Both have been ruled out for this week. On the bright side, Lamarcus Joyner is back in the mix after missing last week with a back ailment. Joyner practiced all week and did not appear on the injury report.

The Rams also tweaked their practice squad a bit by adding cornerback Jemea Thomas and releasing receiver Justin Veltung.

Receiver Tavon Austin (knee) and tight end Cory Harkey (knee) also did not practice for the third day in a row though both did some work on the side. They'll be questionable for Sunday. If that pair can't play, don't be surprised to see receiver Stedman Bailey and tight end Alex Bayer pick up some of the slack.

Left guard Rodger Saffold returned to practice Friday after missing Thursday with an illness.

Here's Friday's complete injury report:

Out: Johnson (knee), OL Barrett Jones (back), McGee (foot)

Questionable: Hill (thigh/calf), Austin (knee), Harkey (knee)

Probable: Wells (not injury related), Saffold (illness)
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- After an early evening Thursday practice, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher made it clear that a decision on the starting quarterback will again be made before Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Hill
But the decision could be a little more difficult this week with veteran Shaun Hill making progress toward a return from an injured thigh. Hill remains limited on the official injury report but did more Thursday than he did Wednesday. Austin Davis continued to get the vast majority of the work with the first-team offense.

"Shaun was limited today," Fisher said. "He did more, but we're still day to day. It will most likely be a pre-game decision like it was last week."

The Rams worked Hill out before last week's game against Tampa Bay and decided he could be active as a third quarterback capable of taking shotgun snaps in an emergency. He could follow a similar path this week if the Rams decide to go with Davis on game day.

Elsewhere on Thursday's injury report, the Rams did not have guard Rodger Saffold because of an illness and cornerback Brandon McGee was downgraded from limited participation to did not participate because of a foot injury. Center Scott Wells, who did not practice Wednesday, returned to full participation Thursday.

Here's the full breakdown:

Did not participate: WR Tavon Austin (knee), TE Cory Harkey (knee), CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), OL Barrett Jones (back), Saffold (illness), McGee (foot)

Limited participation: Hill (thigh/calf)

Full participation: Wells (not injury related)
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Lost in the rubble of St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford season ending ACL injury Sunday evening was the relatively good news the team got on four other injured starters.

Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson, defensive tackles Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers and offensive lineman Rodger Saffold all left Saturday night's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns with injuries and uncertain statuses moving forward when they did not return. But Rams coach Jeff Fisher was at least able to offer a positive outlook on that quartet before confirming Bradford's injury.

Johnson
Of the four, Johnson's knee injury looked the worst when it happened. After taking a helmet to the knee, Johnson had to be taken off on a cart. Of all the injuries suffered in that half, Bradford's included, Johnson seemed the most likely candidate to miss extended time. But where further tests revealed Bradford's was worse than first feared, the additional exams worked in Johnson's favor.

"We got good news considering the mechanism of what happened to Trumaine Johnson," Fisher said. "We’ll miss Trumaine anywhere from four to six weeks with an MCL sprain."

The news was even better in the case of Saffold, Langford and Brockers. All three left with ankle injuries though Saffold's looked the worst after a player rolled up on his leg. But Fisher said the damage was minimal and the trio might even be ready to go this week.

"I can report on three of them who we got good results back," Fisher said. "Michael Brockers, Kendall Langford and Rodger Saffold could potentially play this Thursday night in the fourth preseason game at Miami."

The Rams may take a cautious approach with those three considering, but all three have missed time in camp and might need the reps before the regular season starts.

As for Johnson, the Rams have a few options to take his place, but none of them has proven much of anything in the NFL. Fisher listed rookies E.J. Gaines and Lamarcus Joyner as options as well as second-year corner Brandon McGee. Obviously, McGee has the most experience of the three though most of that is limited to special teams and one rough outing against Chicago in week 12 last season.

McGee has also been dealing with an ankle injury during the preseason and the Rams would probably prefer to keep Joyner in the slot as the primary nickelback. That could leave the door open for Gaines, who has impressed in camp and the preseason with his tenacity and physical approach.

Fisher wouldn't tip his hand Sunday but will have to offer at least a glimpse of the plans in the preseason finale Thursday night.

"E.J. has come on," Fisher said. "And Brandon McGee from last year missed this game with an ankle, he should be back. We’ll be OK there until Tru comes back. Lamarcus is making plays, he played there last night and inside. We’ve got a good, solid group there."

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