Wells Poised for Return

Posted Nov 19, 2012

Two weeks after adding left tackle Rodger Saffold back in the fold, the Rams offensive line will be getting another key reinforcement back this week in the form of center Scott Wells.

Although it remains to be seen whether Wells will be able to step back in and start this week against Arizona, the Rams will activate him from the injured reserve/designated to return list.

“He’s going to return to practice this week,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “We’ll activate him so we’ll see how he does the rest of the week.”

To make room for Wells on the 53-man roster, the Rams will have to make a yet-to-be-determined roster move. Logically, that would come from the offensive line group but that move will be forthcoming in the next couple of days.

Wells has been practicing with the team the past two weeks on a mostly limited basis as he worked his way back from a foot injury suffered in the season opener against Detroit.

Taking advantage of the new “designated to return” rule, the Rams placed Wells on the list in hopes he could return while not having to hold on to an active roster spot while waiting.

Fisher said Wells did well in practice the past two weeks, particularly late last week. 

“He was fine,” Fisher said. “The last day, Friday, he took all of the scout team reps. He’s OK.”

Admirably filling in for Wells has been Robert Turner, a versatile lineman who signed with the Rams from the Jets in the offseason. Turner has fared well in place of Wells and Fisher said last week the Rams would have to figure out the best five for the line when Wells is able to return.

Wells, of course, was a marquee free agent signing for the Rams back in March and was expected to help solidify the offensive line and provide a strong veteran presence.

That’s been difficult for him as he went through an offseason knee injury that limited him in training camp and didn’t allow him to return until late in the preseason.

According to the rules of the returning player designation, the Rams could have allowed Wells to practice for one more week before making a decision on his status but they believe the time is right this week.

As this week goes on, Wells’ status for Sunday against Arizona will be monitored closely.

“We’ll see how the week goes for us,” Fisher said. “We hope to get him back in the lineup.”

HAGGAN HURTING: Linebacker Mario Haggan was on the wrong end of a car pileup on the third play from scrimmage in Sunday’s game against the Jets. Haggan ended up with a right elbow injury that left him in a sling on Monday afternoon and his status in doubt for the near future.

“Mario, as you can appreciate, is sore today,” Fisher said. “We’ll have to see where he is later in the week and see how he recovers.”

It’s unclear precisely how Haggan was injured on the play but there did appear to be some extracurricular activity after the play that almost certainly didn’t help his cause.

As Haggan lay on the ground, an unidentified Jet dived in and buried him further into the turf, a play that didn’t leave Haggan or many of his teammates too happy.
“Yeah, anytime there is someone on the ground and someone is diving on somebody and spearing somebody like that, it’s an issue,” Fisher said. “It looked like the injury took place before that so I’m not quite sure. We’ll have to go back and look at the exact mechanism.”

Haggan isn’t the only Ram that will have to be monitored from an injury standpoint this week. Receiver Danny Amendola suffered a right foot/heel injury that caused him to leave the game in the first half.

Amendola returned in the second half but will have to be watched this week after continued issues with it on Monday morning.
“We’ll probably have to keep an eye on Danny as well this week,” Fisher said. “He’s a little sore so we’ll just see how the practice week goes along as far as those two.”

Fisher said those were the only two injuries of note from Sunday’s game.

FEEDING JACKSON: Looking back at the tape of Sunday’s game against the Jets, Fisher said he thought his team probably should have followed New York’s formula more than it did.

Which is to say that Fisher believed his offense should have been more run heavy, particularly with starter Steven Jackson, who finished with 81 yards on 13 carries, an average of 6.2 yards per attempt.

“I think in retrospect we probably should have fed Jack a little more,” Fisher said. “I talked to him today about it… he’s running really well. He looks young. A lot of that has to do with what we did early in the year and him coming off that groin but he was making some plays. He ran over some people, some good players so we are going to have to commit to that (more).”

The Rams finished the game with 20 carries for 114 yards as a team for an average of 5.7 per attempt. The Jets didn’t have the gaudy per carry average but ran it 41 times for 124 yards. 

ON FURTHER REVIEW: The one play that might have changed Sunday’s game was the 98-yard kick return by Chris Givens that went for a touchdown that was called back on an iffy holding penalty on safety Rodney McLeod.

Fisher watched the tape of the call on Monday and it certainly did nothing to change his or his team’s mind that it was borderline at best.

“There are three holdings on their first kickoff that aren’t called,” Fisher said. “And all three of them are more egregious than the one that was called. I’ll just leave it at that.”

Fisher went on to point out that it was the second week in a row where the Rams did not get the benefit of the doubt on a big special teams play and that he has made sure to tell his team that it hasn’t yet reached a point where it can expect to get those calls.

“We’re not good enough to put ourselves in position to where they think it’s a hold,” Fisher said. “We couldn’t overcome that last week when we had the block above the waist so we have got to keep working the young special teamers and making sure that they trust the returner and the last thing they should do is grab.”