Thomas back on field after two days off

Updated: October 10, 2003, 4:24 PM ET
ESPN

ST. LOUIS -- Rams middle linebacker Robert Thomas practiced Friday after resting his injured groin and expects to play Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons.

"I told the coaches and the trainers I'm good to go," Thomas said. "So whatever role they think I should play, I'll play."

Coach Mike Martz said the team did the right thing, allowing Thomas to rest a nagging injury that forced him out of the second half of the game against Arizona on Sept. 28. He was originally hurt in the second preseason game and underwent a second MRI exam earlier this week, following the Rams' bye, to make certain his groin was healing properly.

"We just felt he'd be all right with the rest," Martz said. "He looks good, so we should be all right."

Thomas, the team's first-round pick last year, took most of his snaps on the scout team Friday. That put some doubt in his mind regarding the team's plans for this week.

"I heard I'm going to play an emergency role," Thomas said. "Whatever role, I'm ready. If they put me in to start, I'll be ready to start."

Thomas' backup is Jamie Duncan, a disappointment as the starter last year after leaving the Buccaneers as a free agent. Coaches have been complimentary of Duncan's attitude in his new role as special teams captain, but he wants another chance.

"Yeah, it's been tough from that standpoint," Duncan said. "I'd love to get a chance to get out there and play, but this is how it's going to be for me every week."

Tailback Lamar Gordon, the starter while Marshall Faulk heals from a broken left hand and surgery on his right knee, also returned to practice. Gordon was sidelined after about 10 minutes Thursday when he reinjured his sprained left wrist.

On Friday, Gordon had the arm wrapped in tape to the elbow with a hard plastic protective shell.

"I'm going to be all right," Gordon said. "I'm going to make sure I'm taken care of for the game."

Gordon said he hurt the wrist when he took a handoff and swung his arm while making a cut. Team trainers have warned him to expect occasional pain from scar tissue.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index