Rams getting back to full strength after injuries

A healthier roster figures to give the St. Louis Rams a better

shot at building on their first two-game winning streak since


Despite early season injury woes, the Rams (2-2) are tied for

the NFC West lead. Now they’re getting players back at full

strength heading into Sunday’s game at Detroit (0-4).

”You don’t miss a beat, and the guys who were hurt are allowed

to get healthy,” free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe said Wednesday.

”And you come back with a team that’s strong.”

Runing back Steven Jackson practiced wearing the extra

protective wrapping he had in last week’s victory over the

Seahawks. Last week, he didn’t practice until Friday and then only

on a limited basis because of a groin strain.

”He didn’t go all the reps,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

”He’s going to take it easy and I didn’t want him to push it too


The Rams played much of the way in a victory over the Redskins

two weeks ago without both starting safeties, and Atogwe was used

only in nickel packages while nursing a thigh bruise last week. Now

he’s ready.

Strong safety Craig Dahl returned from a concussion last week

and is eager for contact.

”I got out there and banged around a little this last game,”

he said. ”That’s what brings enjoyment to my position.”

Others are getting closer. Tight end Billy Bajema will miss his

third game recovering from an MCL tear to his right knee but is

back on the field. So is rookie tight end Michael Hoomanawanui,

who’s missed three games with a foot injury, and linebacker Chris

Chamberlain, out the last three games with a toe injury.

”Straight ahead I’m pretty good,” Bajema said. ”Changing

directions, that’s the last thing I’m going to get.”

Wide receiver Laurent Robinson, out the last two games with a

foot sprain, is hoping to be ready this week.

The Rams had a tough go filling a 45-man active roster last

week, with offensive tackle Renard Foster the only healthy scratch.

Reserve cornerback Marquis Johnson was placed on injured reserve

Wednesday after undergoing knee surgery and is still facing a

shoulder procedure, but the list of injuries this week isn’t nearly

as large as the last.

Punter Donnie Jones strained his calf in pre-game warmups last

week yet he averaged a 40.4-yard net with four downed inside the 20

against Seattle. Reserve cornerback Kevin Dockery is likely to miss

two games because of a hamstring injury.

The biggest ongoing concern is defensive tackle Clifton Ryan’s

migraine headaches. He’s already missed three games and didn’t

practice Wednesday.

Spagnuolo said he talked with Ryan, who had reported he was

feeling better, but the coach said Wednesday his availability isn’t


Rookie offensive tackle Rodger Saffold left practice early with

a swollen left shin after getting kicked, but said it was just a


”As an offensive lineman you’re going to get kicked in the shin

eight or nine times a game,” Saffold said.