Bulger get Advice from Warner
BY JIM THOMAS -
Marc Bulger didn't suffer the most "famous" pinky injury in St. Louis football history. But he's trying to reach the quarterback who did — Kurt Warner — for some advice.
"I may talk to Kurt," Bulger said Tuesday. "I tried to get in contact with him (Monday). Just to see how I can get back quicker, or something like that. ... I know he did this in 2000."
At the height of the Greatest Show on Turf, the 6-0 Rams were trailing the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 22, 2000, when a snap from backup center Steve Everitt just before halftime caught Warner wrong on his throwing hand.
The result was a broken bone just below the knuckle of Warner's right pinky finger. Warner was sidelined five weeks. It was Everitt's first and last start with the Rams. He was in the lineup only because injuries forced shuffling on the line.
Warner needed surgery; Bulger won't. But Bulger will be sidelined at least two weeks after taking a snap off his right little finger in practice Monday from starting center Jason Brown.
"I was a hair of a second early," Brown said. "His hands weren't fully open, so I caught his pinky in an awkward situation. It was a rough day for me (Monday). I never want something like that to be on my watch."
It's quite possible that Bulger is done for the preseason. He said Tuesday, in his first comments since the injury, that he's targeting the Sept. 13 regular-season opener against Seattle for his return. The injury won't be completely healed when he returns, Bulger said, so it will be more of a pain tolerance issue.
When asked if he'd like to get in a series or two in the preseason finale Sept. 3 against Kansas City, Bulger
replied: "We'll see. If Coach (Steve Spagnuolo) feels it's important, I'd love to come back and play with the guys. But (Monday) when I was at the doctor, No. 1 on my list was Seattle. ... I'm 100 percent going to be in for Seattle. That's all I'm thinking about now."
Concurring with what Spagnuolo told reporters Monday, Bulger said, "There was no major damage. It's just a chipped bone that we're trying to be careful with right now. I'll be out there as soon as I can."
In the meantime, there's not much Bulger can do but just let time heal the injury.
"It's not going to be healed when I come back, obviously," he said. "But just getting the inflammation down to where my body feels comfortable with it — I've never done it before, so we'll see. The good thing is I don't think it's going to get any worse."
Over the course of a season, from the start of minicamps through training camp and the regular season, a quarterback takes thousands of snaps from center. Jammed fingers aren't uncommon.
But Monday's snap, Bulger said, "caught me the exact wrong way. You wish it happened during a game and things like that, not on a 9-on-7 (run period) drill. But it's done. There's nothing we can do to change it. We're just going to make the best of it."
Whether he's out just two weeks or more, Bulger said he plans to stay mentally sharp. Obviously, he'll be in all the team meetings, as well as taking "mental" reps on the field as he watches his replacement, Kyle Boller, and the other quarterbacks run plays in practice.
Actually, Bulger plans on taking "verbal" reps.
"When you're on the field, I think it's important to say the play out loud, even if it's in a low tone," he said. "You can say it in your mind, but I've learned unless you speak the verbiage and continually do it, you can lose it quick."
That may be particularly true this season because Bulger is learning a new scheme — the West Coast system of new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.
Bulger has had thumb and index finger injuries before, but the pinky — or little finger injury — is a first.
"It's not that painful of an injury just to walk around with — it's just one of those unfortunate things," Bulger said. "You grip the ball (with the pinky). Any other guy would probably be out there but the quarterback. Right finger (injuries) and quarterbacks don't go well together.
"Each time I've hurt a finger, you don't think they're important until you lose (use of) one. I've hurt my thumb before, and I thought that was the biggest deal. I've hurt my index finger, I thought that was a big deal.
"My pinky, I mean, it's a big deal, but of all the fingers — if I had to pick one — I'd probably say take my pinky if you're going to cut one off."
Re: Bulger get Advice from Warner
Oh, geez... Man up.
Re: Bulger get Advice from Warner
I love how Jason Brown's reaction to this was. Show's hes a team player.
It sucks to lose Bulger, it really does. But this gives more time for Keith Null to play.