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Rams welcome back veteran DT Ryan after concussion

St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Clifton Ryan returned to practice Friday, the latest step in recovering from what the team called "migraine headaches" that kept him out of two games.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported last month that Ryan actually has been suffering from post-concussion syndrome, according to a league source.

Friday's workout was Ryan's first since Sept. 15. He played in the Sept. 12 season opener against the Arizona Cardinals.

"It feels real good to be back," Ryan said. "To be back out there with the guys, it feels good. It's really a blessing, and I feel thankful to be back out there on the field."

It isn't yet known whether or not Ryan will play Sunday when the Rams (2-2) visit the Detroit Lions (0-4).

"We'll wait and see. He hasn't done anything in a while," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "Any time you're talking about the health of somebody from the chin to the hairline, we're going to be very careful about that."

Ryan, 26, said he has been bothered by migraines "off and on" since he was 18.

"I'm not putting my medical business out there," Ryan said. "As far as you guys (are concerned), it's resolved. As far as Rams Park, it's probably going to be an ongoing thing, but pretty much I don't think I'll miss any more time with this situation. I think it's very manageable.

"I've seen a lot of doctors, so I'll be all right. I'm a tough guy. I think I can tough it out."

Ryan went to Michigan State and is from Saginaw, Mich. Naturally, he wants to play.

"If it happens, it's happens," Ryan said. "I can't worry about the migraines. I've been out for three weeks and we've won two games. We've got some things rolling. My main thing is I want to be a positive asset to the team."

A fifth-round pick in the 2007 draft, Ryan had been a mainstay on St. Louis' defensive line. The 6-foot-2, 324-pound Ryan played in 49 consecutive games, including 27 starts before suffering a concussion.

That streak was a point of pride for Ryan.

"I played in 49 straight games, but then this happens, which is disappointing," Ryan said. "I've been away from the game for almost a month, and it makes you really miss being out there."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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