Shoulder injury will force Rams' Saffold to miss two weeks

Associated PressAugust 10, 2013 

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher.

ZIA NIZAMI/BND

— Rams right tackle Rodger Saffold may miss up to two weeks after dislocating his left shoulder in the preseason opener at Cleveland.

Coach Jeff Fisher said Friday said Saffold was sore and tests were still ongoing.

"He'll miss some time and a preseason game or two but I think we'll have him back here in a couple of weeks," he said. "It dislocated, came out the back. We got it right back in place. He's very sore. There's some swelling and pain and he'll have to work through that and re-strengthen it. We want to make sure the integrity of the joint is OK, and based on all indications, it is. We're lucky."

Saffold left the game on the second play of the Rams' first offensive series during Thursday night's 27-19 loss to the Browns. Saffold made the switch to the right side of the line this season after the Rams signed four-time Pro Bowler Jake Long from Miami in the offseason to play left tackle.

As Saffold is learning a new position, Fisher said he did not think this injury will halt his progress.

"You know, he's really had a good camp and he's doing well out there," Fisher said. "A lot of it is footwork, you know, a lot of it is understanding what takes place in the meeting room. It's going to be a setback but I don't think it's going to hurt him."

Joe Barksdale came in to replace Saffold. Fisher said he was pleased with the performance of the three-year pro from LSU.

"He did fine," Fisher said. "Joe played a couple of games last year and he did well. You know, Joe lines up against some good defensive ends in practice here every day. He got on the field and did well. He knew what to do."

Fisher and his coaches have plenty of teaching points for a youthful roster after the loss. Browns Brandon Weeden threw a touchdown pass and led the Browns on two scoring drives while Travis Benjamin also returned a punt 91 yards for a score.

St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford played during the first three drives of the game and completed five of his eight passes for 102 yards and a touchdown for a 145.8 quarterback rating. Receiver Chris Givens caught two touchdowns, including a 59-yard reception from Bradford.

Still, running back Isaiah Pead fumbled on his first carry when Cleveland nose tackle Phil Taylor stripped the ball and Tavon Austin, the No. 8 overall draft pick, dropped the one pass thrown to him.

"When you sit back and look at all three phases -- offense, defense and special teams -- there's a lot of things to learn from, a lot of mistakes to correct," Fisher said. "As coaches, you would rather have it that way than the other way where you play a perfect game and you just move on to the next one. There's a lot of good things to learn from."

Fisher is 0-2 in preseason openers with the St. Louis. Last year, Indianapolis beat the Rams 38-3. With expectations in St. Louis up for the Rams, Fisher cautioned not to read too much into one preseason game.

"It's the first preseason game, OK?" Fisher said. "So, if expectations are affected based on the production or lack of production in the first preseason game, my recommendation would be to just to be patient."

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