Sehorn could be ready for Rams' Oct. 13 game

Updated: October 1, 2003, 3:31 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Sidelined since late July by a fractured foot, Jason Sehorn is expected to return to full practices next week when the St. Louis Rams return from their bye, and he could play in the team's prime time game against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 13.

The former New York Giants star, signed by the Rams to a one-year, $1 million contract this summer, will work at free safety. Despite playing cornerback for nine years with the Giants, Sehorn had been projected as the Rams' starting free safety before the injury, and he figures to eventually take over the top spot there when his conditioning improves.

"Ultimately, that's probably what will happen," coach Mike Martz acknowledged. "But it may not start out that way."

Sehorn, 32, might be used initially in "nickel" situations, until the team can assess his recovery and gauge his comfort level at safety, a position he has not played since college. Sehorn actually began participating in some light "team" drills last week and said that the foot injury, which occurred July 27, is almost behind him.

The Rams sought Sehorn, after his release by the Giants, because they insist that he can be a playmaker in the interior secondary. St. Louis coaches feel Sehorn is such a natural "ball" athlete, and still has sufficient range to cover the deep zone, that he can succeed at free safety.

Perhaps the only lingering questions, beyond his ongoing recovery, surround his tackling skills, which have been a bit suspect the past few years.

St. Louis outhustled several teams - including Jacksonville, Cleveland and Carolina - to land Sehorn this summer. The teams were split over whether he could still function well at cornerback or should move inside to safety.

Martz noted that, once Sehorn returns, Aeneas Williams will move back to the corner spot he has manned for most of his 13 seasons in the league. Williams has been starting at free safety.

The move of Williams back to cornerback means that one of the Rams' young starters there, either Jerametrius Butler or Travis Fisher, will be bumped to the "nickel" corner spot. Martz declined to say which of the two would move out of the starting lineup.

Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.