Brown back kicking with Rams
BY KATHLEEN NELSON
Posted: Friday, August 20, 2010 5:30 am

For the first time in nearly two weeks, kicker Josh Brown sent a ball sailing through the uprights at Rams Park on Thursday.

"Felt pretty good," he said.

Brown hadn't kicked since injuring his hip flexor before the Rams' scrimmage at Lindenwood University on Aug. 7. He said he had been nursing a minor sore groin before warm-ups, when he felt "a deep, stabbing pain. Bam. It got progressively worse in the warm-up to the point where I couldn't move, so I just stopped."

To pass the time at practice, he and his teammates amused themselves as several of the Rams took a shot at Brown's craft. He said wide receiver Jordan Kent earned the highest marks.

"I think everybody enjoyed it with the humor that's behind it," Brown said, "But the real situation is that if something were to happen, somebody's got to go in. Jordan toward the end got to be more consistent and was trying to figure things out. I think a lot of the guys would never put themselves in that situation if they had the choice."

Brown was a fish out of water Saturday, when Shaun Suisham took his place on the field, and he sat with the injured players in one of the upper level boxes. The game was the first that Brown had missed in his eight-year career, preseason or otherwise.

"I kind of felt like a reporter," he said. "It was definitely interesting to see the game. I never watched an NFL game from the stands. It was enjoyable. Pretty good product."

Coach Steve Spagnuolo said he hoped to have Brown on the field Saturday, when the Rams face the Browns in Cleveland.

"I can't say that for definite right now," Spagnuolo said. "What we don't want to do is go out there and set him back."

Brown said he was ready, if needed. But his longest kick Thursday was from 35 yards, meaning that someone else could handle kickoffs.

Starters return

Spagnuolo said guard Jacob Bell would return to the starting lineup Saturday after suffering an abdominal strain two weeks ago. Bell's return means that all five members of the starting line will play together for the first time since the start of camp.

Also expected to play together for the first time are starting cornerbacks Ron Bartel (ankle) and Bradley Fletcher, pending Fletcher's evaluation after practice Thursday.

"You're talking about coming off a knee injury in less than a year," Spagnuolo said. "The speed out here is always different than the speed in games. We'll see how Bradley feels based on how he did today."

Playing time

Spagunolo said he expected the plan for quarterbacks A.J. Feeley and Sam Bradford to be similar to last week against Minnesota. Feeley will start, but Bradford should play until at least halftime.

"I'd like to get him a few more plays, but you'll probably see pretty much the same as you did in the last game," Spagnuolo said.

Running back Steven Jackson, though, could see limited action, as he continues to rehab following back surgery in April.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he got some reps in there. And if he doesn't, we're OK with that, too," Spagnuolo said. "It's just a feel thing."

Jackson's limited participation will give backups Chris Ogbonnaya and Keith Toston a chance to make their case as the No. 2 back.

"You want to see those guys with the ball in their hands, how they handle protection, how they handle the volume of the game plan," Spagnuolo said.

Ram-blings

Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui left the field after feeling ill. Starting wide receivers Donnie Avery (knee) and Laurent Robinson (ankle) did not participate in team activities. Spagnuolo called the move precautionary. Others who missed practice Thursday were safety James Butler (knee), cornerback Kevin Dockery (hip), guard John Greco (chest), wide receiver Brandon McRae (ankle), cornerback Jerome Murphy (ankle), safety Kevin Payne (knee) and defensive end George Selvie (leg).