Spagnuolo was pleased to see the 26-year-old back on the practice field.
"Cliff Ryan was back out there which was great to see," Spagnuolo said Friday. "Hopefully we're where we need to be, but he feels pretty good and he's happy as heck and I am too."
It is still up in the air whether the 6-foot-3, 324-pounder will play in Sunday's road contest against the Detroit Lions. Ryan, who had played in 49 consecutive games, knows that he's not at his physical best but wants to be out there.
"I'm going to get winded if I play Sunday," Ryan said. "It takes a while to get back in football shape. Lifting and running doesn't compare to practice and practice doesn't compare to the games. But I think I can tough it out."
The Rams have been dealing with injuries at defensive tackle lately. Ryan, Gary Gibson (shoulder) and Darell Scott (ankle) did not participate in practice on Wednesday, but Gibson returned for limited work on Thursday and Ryan was back in there on Friday.
Sunday's game would also be a homecoming for Ryan, a Michigan native who played at Michigan State.