An injured starter is pretty much the worst thing that can come out of a preseason game. The Rams experienced a scare of that nature just two plays into their first offensive drive Thursday. Rodger Saffold, who made the switch from left to right tackle this offseason, landed hard on his left arm after an attempt to block Cleveland linebacker Paul Kruger.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher said during a TV interview later that X-rays of Saffold’s left shoulder showed no signs of damage.
“He’s going to be all right,” Fisher said. “X-rays were negative, so he’ll be all right. He’s going to be a little sore, but he will be OK.”
The biggest knock on Saffold is that the third-year player is injury prone. Hopefully, for the Rams, this setback is as minor as Fisher made it sound. Saffold was back on the sideline by the end of the game. His left arm was in a sling.
Bradford to Givens
Chris Givens shined. He reeled in a pretty 59-yard toss from Bradford and ended the night with three catches for 82 yards and a touchdown.
“Me and Sam, we have been working together really hard to stay consistent, so when we come out Sunday, it’s like clockwork for us,” Givens said on the sideline after he was done for the evening.
Second-year back Isaiah Pead, the Rams’ 50th pick in 2012, didn’t do himself any favors in the backfield battle when he fumbled on a first-quarter carry. Pead, you’ll recall, fumbled twice as a rookie in 2012, when he carried the ball just 10 times for 54 yards. He carried three times for 18 yards Thursday.
It’s just one game, and it doesn’t mean anything, but rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree didn’t knock anyone’s socks off. The starter whiffed on the first tackle he attempted. Later, Cleveland running back Dion Lewis distanced himself from the first-round draft pick enough to catch a two-yard touchdown pass.
Rams general manager Les Snead, during a TV interview, had this to say about Ogletree’s debut:
“They’re not scared of you. You’re not in Georgia anymore. They’re going to throw it at you.”
Cunningham can rumble
Likely starter Daryl Richardson carried four times for 24 yards. Vanderbilt product Zac Stacy ran seven times for 23. But don’t sleep on Benny Cunningham. The undrafted rookie out of Middle Tennessee State ran like a guy who would like to climb the depth chart. He is a load (5 feet 10, 210 pounds), and he used it well Thursday. His get-downhill style earned him 20 yards on five touches.
Follow Ben Frederickson on Twitter (@Ben_Fred), or contact him at email@example.com