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Thread: Bradford still hopes to play Sunday ..

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    Bradford still hopes to play Sunday ..

    BY JIM THOMAS : Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:15 am


    For Sam Bradford, Sunday's game in Dallas is as close at it gets to an NFL homecoming. He grew up in Oklahoma City, about 3½ hours north on I-35. Oklahoma is Cowboys country when it comes to pro football; always has been.

    But when the Rams drafted Bradford No. 1 overall in 2010, Bradford's No. 8 jersey started springing up in malls and stores throughout the Sooner state. And some of those Tony Romo No. 9 Cowboys jerseys were moved to the discount racks.

    So there could be even more Oklahomans than usual in the stands at Cowboys Stadium when the Rams come to town for a 3:15 p.m. kickoff. Bradford has received more than a few ticket requests from friends and family.

    "And I would hate to get tickets for people to watch me stand on the sideline," Bradford said. "So hopefully, I'm getting tickets for people that are going to see me play."

    Yes, there is that not-so-small matter of Bradford's high ankle sprain. It occurred on the Rams' last offensive play of the game against Green Bay. Basically, the entire pocket collapsed on him and he got hit from a few angles. There was such a heap of humanity that game tape doesn't really show exactly how Bradford's left ankle was hurt.

    "I got hit from the front, I got hit from the back, and that's about all I know," Bradford said.

    On Wednesday, about all he could say for certain about the injury is that it's getting better and he's doing everything possible to play in his backyard Sunday.

    "Whether we were playing in Dallas or whether we were playing in Alaska, I'm going to do everything I can to play every Sunday," Bradford said. "But I've had this Dallas game circled for a while now knowing that it is about as close to home as I get. It'd mean a lot for me to play down there, so hopefully it'll be ready."

    Bradford didn't practice Wednesday; in fact, he wasn't on the field.

    "We didn't even bring him out," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "Just wanted to keep his leg elevated."

    Bradford walked out for his usual post-practice Wednesday session with reporters wearing a walking boot and limping slightly.

    "It feels good," Bradford said. "Obviously, it feels better than it did on Sunday, and even on Monday when I woke up. I'm just going to continue to treat it and hopefully it'll be ready to go later this week."

    Bradford said there was some swelling in the ankle when he woke up Monday, "but nothing crazy."

    As for treatment, anything that possibly can be done to help heal an ankle is being done by head athletic trainer Reggie Scott and the Rams' medical staff.

    "I think I've now experienced about every modality of treatment that we have in that training room today," Bradford said, smiling. "They just hook me up and we go."

    That includes electrical 'stem pads" and ice. Lots of ice.

    "I have a Gatorade cooler at home now filled with ice that I pretty much stick my foot in any time I'm at home now," Bradford said.

    In addition, Bradford welcomes any and all advice from fans about the care and treatment of high ankle sprains. So far, on the advice of Scott, Bradford hasn't attempted to do anything on the ankle — not even simulating a pass drop.

    So what has to happen for Bradford to be on the field against Dallas?

    "I don't think I have to practice," Bradford said. "It would be nice if I could later in the week, but I don't think that's a must. Obviously, I have to be able to drop back. I have to have some mobility where I'm not just standing back there. But other than that, I don't think it's much more than that."

    From what Bradford has been told, the joint is stable in the ankle, indicating that he might not risk further harm to the ankle by playing. So it may be a matter of pain tolerance.

    Spagnuolo, while realizing that Bradford wants to play, is being more cautious.

    "He's ready to do jumping jacks and flips right now if you ask him," Spagnuolo said. "But we're being smart. Reggie and the doctors are making sure they do the right thing."

    Spagnuolo's fear is that if Bradford gets hit the wrong way on the ankle, his recovery might be set back a couple of more weeks. Spagnuolo hesitated to handicap the possibility of Bradford playing Sunday.

    "You'd like to have him function (during practice) somehow in the game plan," Spagnuolo said. "I'm just going to wait and see. I've been praying all week that he's able to get out here and practice a little bit and be OK."

    On Wednesday, veteran A.J. Feeley took all the reps in practice at quarterback.

    "It went well," Feeley said. "It was nice to get some reps with the starting group. It's a chance to familiarize myself with this offense."

    Once the regular season started, Feeley has spent almost all of his practice time working as the scout team quarterback, running the plays of that week's opposing offense for the Rams' starting defense. He could end up taking all the reps this week only to have Bradford take the field Sunday. But he has no choice but to prepare as if he's going to start.

    "I think you have to," Feeley said. "As a backup quarterback, that's the nature of the game. ... Because in the flash of one play, you can go in and play. So my mindset doesn't change. Maybe the sense of urgency does. With the fact that I'm getting reps out here, then the likelihood of me (starting) is probably a little stronger than it was."

    Even so, Feeley added, "It wouldn't surprise me if (Bradford) comes back and is ready to play on Sunday. He's a tough kid, and he wants to play, and he wants to put this team on his back. That's the way it should be."
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    Re: Bradford still hopes to play Sunday ..

    I must admit that I do not like our chances with Feeley. I wish we would have kept Thaddeus Lewis.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Bradford still hopes to play Sunday ..

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaRam View Post
    I must admit that I do not like our chances with Feeley. I wish we would have kept Thaddeus Lewis.
    Well, AlphaRam, I highly doubt you are alone on this opinion. I, too, strongly agree that Feeley should not be starting Sunday, for obvious reasons, and that Lewis should have been kept also, and that we should have released someone else off of the PS or something. But, that's how it is in sports, especially football. When the star player has an injury, you as the 2nd string player have to practice and prepare as if you were starting. It doesn't mean your're starting, it just means that you will be ready if you were starting.

    Lewis has done nothing but show that he can be somewhat relied on when called upon. Has a lot more upside than Feeley and is younger. The way he looked not only in preseason but the last two years I have said to myself, " This kid could be something special in the right environment, but what do I know....He seems like he always makes smart decisions and is also mobile.

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    Re: Bradford still hopes to play Sunday ..

    I was bummed too when Lewis was released. That said, I understand that Feeley is Sam's mentor and security blanket. He also has a lot more experience that Thaddeus. Though we never really saw Lewis play an extended time against another team's starters, when he did play, (preseason) Thaddeus had something about him and always seemed to spark the team. With luck, Sam will be ready to go Sunday and Feeley won't have to start ..

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    Re: Bradford still hopes to play Sunday ..

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaRam View Post
    I must admit that I do not like our chances with Feeley. I wish we would have kept Thaddeus Lewis.
    Feeley isnt that bad. He may not get the win but for sure no win with thaddeus!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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