Rams' Jake Long makes progress

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams got a little break from head coach Jeff Fisher when he gave them a "sleep in" Thursday, pushing back all meetings and practice for the day.

That meant a late afternoon practice ending early Thursday evening. Apparently, the later start time also was helpful in allowing some of the Rams recovering from injury to make positive progress. Heading up that list is left tackle Jake Long, who participated on a limited basis Thursday after sitting Wednesday as he goes through the concussion protocol.

Long still has obstacles to clear to return Sunday against Arizona but so far he seems to be following the same steps that three concussed Rams followed last week. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson, left guard Chris Williams and running back Zac Stacy returned from concussions after a week in which they did nothing Wednesday, were limited Thursday and then did everything in Friday's practice. Long has now done the first two but has the third and final piece of that puzzle to complete to get back against the Cardinals.

Linebacker Daren Bates is also attempting to return from a concussion and like Long was upgraded from not participating to limited Thursday.

Here's the full rundown of Thursday's injury report:

Did not participate: Center Scott Wells (leg)

Limited participation: Long, Bates, cornerback Brandon McGee (foot)

Full participation: Defensive end Eugene Sims (neck), guard Harvey Dahl (knee)

Of note for Arizona, quarterback Carson Palmer's status remains a bit tenuous after he was limited for a second day in a row with a right elbow injury. Receiver Michael Floyd (ankle) and running back Andre Ellington (knee) practiced on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday.