Rams practice notes: Saffold more involved

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- It remains to be seen whether or not Rams offensive tackle Rodger Saffold will play in Saturday night’s third preseason game in Denver, but he’s at least taking steps in the right direction.

Saffold suffered a dislocated left shoulder two plays into the preseason opener against Cleveland on Aug. 8 and did not play in last week’s game against Green Bay.

On Tuesday, Saffold returned to practice on a limited basis, working mostly in individual drills. Wednesday, Saffold was more involved, taking part in some of the team drills.

“Rodger was much better,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “It was good to get him out, get him in pads and get him going. We’ll continue to watch him but our expectation is that he’ll be able to play.”

Whether or not Saffold is able to play against the Broncos remains to be seen. The sooner, the better considering Saffold is transitioning to the right side after spending his first three years at left tackle.

Saffold said he was slowly but surely getting the hang of the right side in the spring, but the injury hiccup early in camp clearly hasn’t helped his transition. The more repetitions he can get at his new position between now and the regular season, the better off he’ll be.

Wednesday practice notes:

  • The Rams wrapped up the open portion of this year’s training camp in typical Fisher fashion Wednesday afternoon.

    Any type of rookie hazing is off limit in Rams training camp but Fisher ensures that they get a little something extra to do on camp’s final day.The final test for the first-year players? A dizzy bat relay race where each rookie and assorted interns run to a scoop up a ball, carry it to the other end of the field and spin 10 times with a baseball bat before racing back to the start.That doesn’t sound bad on the surface but things get a bit more complicated when you factor in all of the veterans dumping water and ice on each participant as he tries to complete the task.“It’s been a tradition for a long time, something that we’ve always finished camp with,” Fisher said. “It’s a reward for the rookies to let them know they made it through their first training camp.”

    A reward?

    “Yeah, it’s an honor to be able to do that,” Fisher said.

    Fisher pointed to running back Benny Cunningham as the player with perhaps the worst balance he’s ever seen. Fellow back Zac Stacy also had his share of struggles.

  • Rookie receiver Tavon Austin returned to practice after missing the past two days tending to a personal matter.

  • Tight end Lance Kendricks (knee) did some side work in pads with head athletic trainer Reggie Scott.

  • Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman Dan Dierdorf attended practice Wednesday. Dierdorf played his entire 13-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals and is still heavily involved in the St. Louis community. He’s scheduled to work as the color analyst for the team’s game against Denver on Saturday night.