The offensive line here in St. Louis has been a major concern for what seems like forever, and there is some concern after the last few days of practice that it might not be on the fast track to improving. Barry Richardson has replaced Jason Smith at right tackle for the last two sessions, and Quinn Ojinnaka played left tackle on Thursday with Rodger Saffold missing more time with soreness in his legs.
There’s reason to be concerned with both of these situations, but for very different reasons. As far as Richardson/Smith goes, it looks like Smith has been relegated to the second-team unit since Richardson has lined up with the first team for two consecutive days. Sometimes early in the preseason the coach can just want to get a look at guys in certain spots, but with Smith’s struggles in the past I think this development is certainly one to watch over the next few weeks.
Saffold is going to be the starting LT if he’s healthy, but I think that’s a pretty big IF at this point. Thursday’s “leg soreness” probably isn’t a huge deal, but it seems like every time we look up he is on the sideline for something. I’m not ready to say we should be concerned, but let’s hope Saffold keeps himself healthy over the next few weeks so he’s ready to go for Week 1.
There was a pretty good-sized list of guys who sat out practice on Thursday, as WR Brandon Gibson, S Darian Stewart, CB Bradley Fletcher, WR Danario Alexander and DE Eugene Sims were all held out.