Rodger Saffold set to return to Rams lineup

USA TODAY Sports

The Rams are expected to have their starting right tackle back this week. However, with Joe Barksdale's strong play in recent weeks, the coaches have a tough decision to make.

Rodger Saffold is expected to be back in uniform for this week's game against the Carolina Panthers. He announced the news on Monday via Instagram, and he was back on the practice field Wednesday.

Saffold hurt his knee a Week 2 loss to the Falcons. He returned to practice last week in a limited role, but wasn't quite cleared to play for the team's Week 6 game in Houston. A clean bill of health clears the way for a return to the lineup, but the question is whether or not he'll reclaim his old spot at right tackle.

Joe Barksdale replaced Saffold in the starting lineup, and he's played well since taking over. In four starts, the LSU product has allowed two sacks, one hit and seven hurries. He didn't allow any pressure on the quarterback last week against the Texans.

This was Saffold's first year on the right side. He spent the preseason adjusting, and allowed four total pressures, all hurries, in the game and a half he played to start the season. Barksdale's advantage is as a run blocker, and the team's new commitment to running the ball sets up a tough decision for the coaching staff ahead of this week's trip to Carolina.

Elsewhere on the injury report, a handful of players did not practice. That list includes Zac Stacy (ribs), Benny Cunningham (ankle), Cortland Finnegan (hamstring) and Chris Long (thigh). Stacy didn't practice last Wednesday either. Of the four players not practice, only Finnegan didn't play last week. He's been dealing with a hamstring injury.

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