Jeff Fisher rules Rams guard Rodger Saffold out for Sunday's preseason game

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold missed Thursday's practice as he continues to recover from an apparent right shoulder injury suffered in the preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders.

Saffold also sat out Monday and Tuesday's practices against the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, California, so it should come as no surprise that Saffold will not play in this week's game against the Tennessee Titans. With Saffold out, Brandon Washington continued to get the reps with the first-team at left guard.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher confirmed as much Thursday night but also hinted that Saffold was making progress.

"We're going to hold him out this week but he's doing well, doing much better," Fisher said.

Saffold has a long injury history, most of which has been tied to his left shoulder, which he had surgically repaired in the offseason. The Rams are wise not to rush him back and allow him to strengthen the shoulder before he returns. With little depth behind him and considering that Saffold is, by far, the team's most experienced starter, his services are needed.

And logically, holding him out now to try to make sure he's healthy for the long haul should take precedence over rushing him back for preseason games.

A few other notes from Thursday's practice:

  • Fisher also announced that the Rams are helping to fund a program in which a certified athletic trainer will be present at all St. Louis area Public High League football games in 2015. The team is donating $15,000 to the cause.

  • Sitting out the practice: CB Brandon McGee, CB E.J. Gaines, LB Daren Bates, LB Korey Toomer, OL Cody Wichmann, Saffold, DT Michael Brockers, DT Doug Worthington. Wichmann did some work on the side with the training staff and actually had his helmet but did not participate. Still, it's the first sign of progress toward a return from him in this camp. Running back Todd Gurley also continues to do individual drills. Tight end Brad Smelley limped off the field during practice.

  • Demetrius Rhaney took his turn with the first team at center.

  • Safety T.J. McDonald and linebacker James Laurinaitis ran into each other as they converged to break up a pass in red zone work. As they went down, end Robert Quinn began yelling "Careful, careful, we're not in Oxnard anymore."

  • I'm not exactly sure what that meant but I do know the weather felt like southern California. It was easily the most gorgeous St. Louis weather the Rams have had in this camp with temperatures in the mid 70s.

  • Some highlights from the practice field. ... QB Nick Foles hit receiver Chris Givens on a nice deep ball down the middle of the field for a would-be touchdown in team drills. Givens is quietly having a pretty good camp. ... Foles also lofted a perfect strike to tight end Lance Kendricks between two defenders in the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown in red zone work. ... It wasn't all good news for the offense, though, as Laurinaitis tipped a pass for an interception for Lamarcus Joyner and linebackers Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Alec Ogletree came up with picks as well.

  • The Rams are off tomorrow and will have a walkthrough before traveling to Tennessee to play the Titans. They leave Saturday with the game set for Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.