At the start of the season, the St. Louis Rams were a team that looked to have one of the better starting offensive lines in the league. Over the past few seasons they have signed veterans like guard Harvey Dahl, center Scott Wells, and most recently, former number one overall pick tackle Jake Long. They even moved former starting left tackle Rodger Saffold, who when healthy was solid protecting the blindside, to the right tackle.
Photo by J.B. ForbesFor the Rams line is o-line, it is only as strong as its weakest link. That weak link happens to be fourth year tackle Saffold. The St. Louis Rams took Saffold in the second round in 2010 to complement their newly acquired franchise quarterback Sam Bradford at the time. His rookie year was his best as he earned the nod at left tackle and started all 16 games that season.
Since then Saffold has been marred by injury. From 2011-2012, Saffold played for a combined 19 games, missing 13.The Rams went through a scare in the preseason when Saffold went down to an injury and was held out of the final two games. He returned at the start of the season and played well against the Arizona Cardinals as the o-line did not give up a sack.
In the Rams second game against the Atlanta Falcons, Saffold went down with a knee injury. The replay showed he avoided the defender falling down directly on his knee, but it still led to a MCL sprain.
The Rams have him listed as week-to-week, but if Saffold plans on signing a new contract whether with the team or with someone else, he will need to show that he is not an injury prone athlete.
Bradford has not had a solid and consistent offensive line is all his years playing for the St. Louis Rams. This year is supposed to be the first where he is fully protected and has weapons to go to on the outside. The o-line will be key to the Rams making any noise in the division.
They do not plan on letting Saffold injury be a roadblock to their playoff hopes. The Rams claimed tackle Mike Pearson off waivers and signed veteran tackle Max Starks to a one-year deal. If Saffold want to impress the organization or any other team for that matter, he will need to come back from his injury as soon as possible and show he is not the weakest link on the line.