Rams Await Word on Dahl, Ryan

Posted Sep 22, 2010


While common football injuries like ankle sprains and pulled hamstrings have mounted around them, the Rams have spent part of this week waiting for word to come back on a pair of head injuries that will have a major effect on their depth heading into Sunday’s game against Washington.

Defensive tackle Clifton Ryan has been struggling with what is believed to be migraine headaches for the better part of the past week.

Safety Craig Dahl, meanwhile, is battling through the remaining symptoms of a concussion suffered in last week’s game against the Raiders.

Neither practiced on Wednesday as they await word from the medical powers that be on their health.

Ryan first missed practice last week because of a headache that was causing nausea and illness. He and the Rams were hopeful he’d be able to play in Oakland but ultimately Ryan never even made the trip.

On Tuesday, Ryan flew to Birmingham, Ala. to meet with a doctor for a second opinion on his symptoms.

While the Rams awaited final word on what that second opinion said, Ryan and coach Steve Spagnuolo expressed optimism that things would be resolved and he would be cleared to resume practice perhaps as soon as Thursday.

“He did have his second opinion on these migraines,” Spagnuolo said. “He feels really good about everything. We are waiting for some results that haven’t got back here yet. Hopefully we’ll get them today or tonight and he’s ready to go tomorrow. Cliff and I are both optimistic that that’s going to happen.”

Dahl’s condition appears to be a little more up in the air than Ryan’s. After suffering his concussion in the second half of Sunday’s loss in Oakland, Dahl began taking the required baseline tests to get cleared earlier this week.

So far, the prognosis and reaction to the concussion has been good for Dahl but Spagnuolo made it clear there are still some hurdles to get past for Dahl to be cleared to play against the Redskins.

“He’s cleared all the tests so far,” Spagnuolo said. “He was exerted this morning.  He looked good.  Hopefully he’ll do non-contact tomorrow and then on Friday, I believe, he has to clear the neutral doctor test, which will be on Friday.  Hopefully we’ll have him on Sunday.”

Because of other injuries at defensive tackle, getting Ryan back would be a major boost to the Rams’ depth. Without him, they’d be down to just starters Gary Gibson and Fred Robbins on the active roster.

Dahl’s presence is equally important. If he can’t go, he’d be replaced by James Butler with rookie Darian Stewart serving at the primary backup.

HIGH ON SAM: Washington coach Mike Shanahan made no bones about his interest in Rams quarterback Sam Bradford before the NFL Draft back in April.

In fact, before the Easter Sunday trade the Redskins made with the Eagles to acquire Donovan McNabb, there were indications that Shanahan was willing to offer a major package of picks to the Rams in order to obtain Bradford.

While Shanahan is happy he has McNabb running his offense now, he’s still clearly very fond of Bradford and the type of quarterback he can become.

When asked what how much defensive coordinator Jim Haslett would ratchet up the pressure on the rookie signal caller, Shanahan said he expected Haslett to do it while taking great caution.

“I just wish it was a normal rookie,” Shanahan said. “A normal rookie, yes.  I think you’ve got one of the premiere quarterbacks in a long time and I just like the way he plays, the way he handles himself.  You get a quarterback like that once every 10, 15, 20 years.”

INJURY REPORT: Once again this week, the Rams injury report is lengthy. At Wednesday’s practice alone, there were eight players who did not participate in practice.

Joining Ryan and Dahl on the sidelines were CB Kevin Dockery, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, TE Billy Bajema, TE Daniel Fells, DT Darell Scott and LB Chris Chamberlain.

Chamberlain (foot), Hoomanawanui (ankle) and Scott (ankle) have already been ruled out for this week. Bajema is almost certainly out as well and the others will be monitored daily.

Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (thigh), running back Steven Jackson (knee), tackle Rodger Saffold (back) and receiver Laurent Robinson (foot) were limited in practice. All are expected to be OK this week.

For Washington, the only injuries of note were to tackle Trent Williams and safety Chris Horton, both of whom did not practice. Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was limited participation.

RAM BITS: The Rams brought back quarterback Thaddeus Lewis late Tuesday, adding him to the practice squad. The team released him to make room for cornerback Marquis Johnson before last week’s game…Because of the injuries at tight end, it appears Darcy Johnson and rookie Fendi Onobun will play expanded roles against the Redskins. Bradford said he was looking to get in extra work with each of them in practice this week…Spagnuolo reiterated on Wednesday that rookie wideout Mardy Gilyard will probably get more offensive repetitions this week against Washington…Spagnuolo also said the possibility remained that rookie running back Keith Toston could also get a carry or two.