By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Dec. 04 2007
Don't look now, but the Rams could be one failed neuropsych test away from
starting Brock Berlin at quarterback Sunday in Cincinnati.
That's because Gus Frerotte has a sprained throwing shoulder and a partially
torn labrum. He is expected to miss at least one week. Meanwhile, Marc Bulger
is scheduled to take another neuropsych test today.
Bulger sat out the Atlanta game because of a concussion he suffered the
previous week against Seattle. If Bulger doesn't pass the neuropsych test
today, he will not be cleared to play against the Bengals.
The test consists of a series of questions and problems that test memory and
the ability to process information through use of pictures, numbers and words.
Bulger did not do well enough on the test last Wednesday to be cleared to play
Meanwhile, cornerback Tye Hill has a wrist-thumb injury that may require
surgery. His status is uncertain for Cincinnati.
When asked about the possibility of facing the Bengals without Bulger or
Frerotte, Linehan said, "I want to think positive and go with the glass half
But then he added, "It's a little concerning at this point."
Linehan made his comments at his regular Monday news conference before he knew
of Frerotte's MRI exam. According to team sources, the results showed the
shoulder and labrum problems.
After throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns against Atlanta, Frerotte
completed the game with some soreness in his right shoulder. The Rams didn't
think much of it at the time, because Frerotte was able to finish the game.
But Linehan said Monday, "It was much more sore today than right after the
Frerotte suffered the injury late in the third quarter while throwing a deep
pass for wide receiver Torry Holt that was intercepted by Atlanta safety Lawyer
"He fell down on it kind of funny," Linehan said.
Frerotte was hit hard by Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson in what looked
like a late hit. But there was no flag on the play for roughing the passer.
"They're judgment calls," Linehan said. "If they think (Anderson) took an extra
step, they call it. I personally think they should err on protecting the
The Rams were considering sending in the play for review by the NFL.
As for Bulger, Linehan said Monday that he has seen an improvement in his star
quarterback's condition in recent days.
"I think he's a lot better," Linehan said. "I thought he was way better by the
end of the week. He seemed very much himself this weekend. I'm hopeful and
cautious until I get the results of the test."
Nonetheless, the Rams are moving immediately to shore up their depth at the
quarterback position. Veteran Todd Bouman will come to Rams Park for a visit
and physical today, and is expected to sign with the team.
Bouman, 35, is an 11-year NFL veteran out of St. Cloud State, He has played
with Minnesota, Green Bay, New Orleans, and Jacksonville. In 42 career games,
including six starts, Bouman has completed 129 of 230 passes (56.1 percent),
for 1,613 yards, 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
He knows the Rams' offense, having played for Linehan in 2002 in Minnesota,
when Linehan was the Vikings' offensive coordinator. Bouman also spent three
seasons with Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett in New Orleans when Haslett
was the Saints' head coach.
This season, Bouman spent three weeks on Jacksonville's active roster but did
not see action. He was released by the Jaguars on Nov. 20.
As for Hill, Linehan is keeping his fingers crossed that he will be able to
play this week and finish out the season in the Rams' secondary.
"He's had a problem with his thumb," Linehan said. "It's one of those ligament
issues where he's going to have to look at either rehabbing it or getting it
Linehan said the injury has bothered Hill for some time, but that he aggravated
the condition at some point during the Atlanta game. Hill made a critical
fourth-down pass breakup near the goal line with 2 minutes, 14 seconds to play,
helping to preserve the Rams' 28-16 victory.
"He came in (Monday) and it was a little more of an injury than maybe we were
aware of," Linehan said.
So Hill underwent additional testing and examination Monday.