Healthy Once Again, Saffold Ready to Contribute

Posted Oct 24, 2013

Exerting patience may not always be a strong suit for T Rodger Saffold, though it appears the cautious approach used in aiding his return to the field has served both him and his team well.

After suffering a knee injury in Week 2 against Atlanta that would sideline him for the following four weeks, Saffold had no choice but to bide his time as the Rams made sure that his health had returned in full. Eager to return to the field, Saffold has certainly had his fill of the injury bug. Since being drafted with the 33rd overall pick in 2010, Saffold has had just one season—his rookie year—in which he has appeared in all 16 games. Now fully healthy, Saffold is pleased to put his latest setback far behind him.

“I think they definitely took the right approach with me, just to be able to get back,” Saffold said. “I feel 100 percent and ready to go. As far as being a part of it, I love it. I’ve never been the type of guy who wants to sit and watch. Being able to get back to pushing people around, getting back into it, it’s great.”

He made his return last week against Carolina, and played as part of a rotation with T Joe Barksdale, who performed capably during Saffold’s four-game absence. Saffold’s knee responded well both in run and pass block, and though his game reps were limited, his performance was impressive to Head Coach Jeff Fisher, who envisions a similar scenario for the two tackles in the short term.

“Rodger played well,” Fisher said at his Monday news conference. “It was good to see him. He was very active, second level in the run game. Pass protection was good, strong, short of dominating at times in the game. As did (T) Joe (Barksdale). I think we’ll stick with that, the rotation right now.”

The Rams, who saw their run game struggle a bit in the immediate aftermath of Saffold’s injury, have seen it flourish as of late behind rookie RB Zac Stacy. Though the Rams struggled occasionally on the ground at Carolina, Saffold’s return could bode well for Stacy and the rest of the Rams’ backs moving forward.

“It’s great, and it was definitely needed,” Saffold said of the Rams’ improvement in the running game. “It doesn’t make us one-dimensional. When we get one-dimensional, that creates some problems, so this has made things a little easier for us (offensively).”