Bradford Remains On The Sideline
Bradford remains on the sidelines
BY JEFF GORDON
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford looked better in one sense Wednesday. He shaved his shaggy beard while cleaning up for a commercial shoot.
But his left ankle remained a mess. Bradford tested the sprained joint with individual drills Monday and Tuesday and didn't gain medical clearance to rejoin practice.
"It's still not where I think our training staff would like it to be," Bradford said. "We still got five days. So hopefully within those five days we can keep going and hopefully make some strides."
He has done little healing since aggravating the high ankle sprain during a 30-13 loss at Seattle.
"This week is really the first time we've done much," Bradford said. "To be honest, it didn't feel great in the little bit we did do."
A.J. Feeley also remained on the sidelines with his broken thumb, so Kellen Clemens went back to work with the No. 1 offense Wednesday with Tom Brandstater in the back-up role.
Meanwhile, Bradford did conditioning work off to the side.
"It's been very frustrating," he said. "Especially the fact that I was able to come back and play three or four games and it was getting better. It was starting to feel better, it was starting to feel like it getting closer to normal. And then after the second time I re-injured it, I never overcame that."
He would love to get back on the field before this disappointing season ends.
"It's important for me to play in every game," Bradford said. "This is my last opportunity to play with this team this year, so it's very important for me to get out there this Sunday and just finish the season strong with my guys."
But Clemens is preparing as if he will make his third consecutive start since arriving as an emergency replacement.
"It's been pretty consistent the last few weeks," Clemens said. "If Sam can go, he can. If not, A.J. will go. If he can't, then I'll go."
Clemens got a rough ride in Pittsburgh, completing just nine of 24 passes for 91 yards. He also lost 23 yards in three sacks.
Upon further review, how did he believe he played?
"Not good enough," Clemens said. "We had a chance to put some points on the board, but ultimately we have to do better. That was a good defense. They played well. Give them credit. But there were some plays to made there that would have made it closer. The game was still within reach in the third quarter. We have to do more with the opportunity you get."
Sunday's game could give him another chance to bid for a back-up role here or elsewhere for the 2012 season.
"Any opportunity to play is an opportunity to play," he said. "Since we were 5 and 6 years old, you don't come out here to practice, you come out to play. That's what we like to do. That's what I've enjoyed over the last couple of weeks, having an opportunity to play.
"I'm not really thinking about myself going into the offseason. I'm just excited for another opportunity to go out and play and have some fun."
Linebacker Brady Poppinga missed practice Wednesday because of illness. Defensive tackle Fred Robbins was a limited participant for the same reason. Cornerback Josh Gordy (oblique) and defensive end Chis Long (ankle) were also limited participants.
Tight end Ben Guidugli practiced as an active player after moving up from the practice squad. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said the Rams could still add another player to their active roster this week by placing surgery-bound cornerback Justin King on injured reserve.
PRO BOWL ALTERNATES
Spagnuolo was pleased that Long, middle linebacker James Laurinaitis and running back Steven Jackson were named alternates for the Pro Bowl. Since injuries and Super Bowl participation will knock some players our of that game, some alternates will come into play.
"To me, if you get recognized in this league at all in the conversation of Pro Bowl, I think it's something we all ought to be proud of," Spagnuolo said.
Re: Bradford Remains On The Sideline
What are the chances of JLau, CLong and SJAX playing in the Pro Bowl? I think they have a shot and it would be deserved for the 3 best Rams players this year.