St. Louis Rams offensive tackle Rodger Saffold had very limited duty in practice Wednesday, three days after being carted off the field with a significant neck injury that landed him in a Detroit hospital.
That was enough for worried teammates.
"It's great to see him out there," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "It's extremely scary anytime you see someone get put on a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance. You never know with a head or a neck injury how serious it could be."
Saffold appeared to have trouble moving his head while meeting with media after practice. He said his mobility has improved and the pain has subsided.
Saffold didn't know when he'd be able to play again.
"I'm getting movement back more and more every day, and pain is getting less every day," Saffold said. "I've really been putting a lot of work into using all of my off time to get ready."
The Rams finished Sunday's opener without two starters on the offensive line. Center Scott Wells is on injured reserve until Week 9 with a broken foot, plus rookie guard Rokevious Watkins did not practice with an ankle injury.
Guard Quin Ojinnaka, released Sept. 2, was re-signed and could start this week against Washington. Robert Turner started at left guard ahead of Watkins in the opener and will likely move to center.
"We're just fortunate that he was still out there," Fisher said of Ojinnaka. "He comes back, he understands the system, and we can plug him right in."
Saffold spent the night in Detroit with his family after being discharged from the hospital Sunday, several hours after the Rams' 27-23 loss. He was injured on the play when the Rams took the lead on a touchdown pass from Bradford to Brandon Gibson, getting knocked off balance on a block and hitting his head awkwardly on an opposing player's hip.
"Just trying to finish a play," Saffold said. "A defensive lineman was kind of falling backward and I kind of collided with him, and pushed my head back a little too far."