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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Bulger has begun throwing, but return is questionable

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/13/2005
    Rams Bulger
    Rams quarterback Marc Bulger (right) is weighing whether it makes sense for him to return this season and risk aggravating his shoulder injury.
    (Chris Lee/P-D)

    A part of Marc Bulger wants to get back in the lineup ASAP, even if his injured right shoulder isn't fully healed.

    "You don't want to sit here and say, 'I'm going to be smart and just sit it out and get better,'" Bulger said Tuesday. "You think about that a little bit. But that's not my decision. That's not my job. I get paid to play regardless of our record and regardless of how things are going. Right now, I want to be in there."

    But a part of him says: Don't rush it this time. Bulger has injured his right shoulder four times over the 2004 and 2005 seasons:

    * At Miami on Oct. 24, 2004.

    * Against San Francisco on Dec. 5, 2004.

    * At Indianapolis on Oct. 17 this season.

    * And most recently, against Arizona on Nov. 20.

    Each time, Bulger has rushed back into the lineup before the shoulder felt totally right, and he injured it again. The San Francisco injury last season lingered into the offseason - affecting his offseason training - even though he nursed it through the final two regular-season games and two playoff contests.

    "It really didn't feel normal again until April or so," Bulger said. "I was a couple months behind last year. So that goes back to would it be smart to come back or not this year."

    For now, those considerations are a mere mental exercise, because at the moment, Bulger's shoulder still isn't right.

    For the first time since suffering the latest shoulder injury, Bulger threw Tuesday at Rams Park. He still experienced discomfort in the shoulder, and that was throwing at a distance of only 15 yards.

    "I couldn't get much velocity," Bulger said. "I wouldn't be able to go in and throw deep outs and deep balls."

    Or anything close to that. So that means Bulger will miss this Sunday's home game against Philadelphia, leaving only the game against San Francisco on Dec. 24 and the season finale Jan. 1 at Dallas.

    Bulger will try to throw again early next week. But if he can't throw 15 yards without discomfort this week, will his shoulder improve dramatically in seven days?

    "I don't anticipate it getting much better that quick," he said. "But I'm just trying to prepare myself if it is."

    If he isn't ready by San Francisco next week, it seems almost silly to attempt to play in the final game. Why risk taking a shot on the shoulder against Dallas, which could mean another late start in his offseason conditioning program? Because every time Bulger injures his shoulder, he can't lift weights involving his upper body for weeks.

    "Some guys are freaks," Bulger said. "You look at Steven Jackson. He works hard and everything, but I think if he didn't lift a weight in a month, he would look the same."

    It doesn't work that way for Bulger.

    "To maintain strength, I have to lift," he said. "Most of my work is shoulder work, and rotator cuff work. For me to sit here four, five weeks out now (from the latest injury) without having lifted a weight - just because I can throw - that's not the smartest thing to do if I don't feel like it's structurally sound. We'll see how it feels. By this time next week, I'll know for sure if it's even possible to come back for the last game."

    None of Bulger's shoulder injuries has had anything to do with the rotator cuff. They are not shoulder separations, either. Instead, they have all involved fluid buildup in the AC joint, in theory, a less severe injury.

    But this has happened four times now over a 13-month period, which raises questions about whether this is a chronic condition that will get worse over time.

    "That's what I keep asking," Bulger said. "Because I know everyone wants to know if this is going to be chronic. I want to know that, too. I've asked that to every doctor I talk to, the trainers, and they've all said no. ... It's just bad luck. It's just getting hit on it."

    Bulger disagrees with the notion that the "Air Martz" offense is hazardous to a quarterback's health.

    "I think it's the circumstances rather than the offense," Bulger said. "We've been forced, I think, the last couple years maybe to throw the ball more than we've wanted to. But it happens. You look at every quarterback, and there's so many getting hurt this year. Guys in every (style) offense have gotten hurt."

    The list includes Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb, Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper, Tampa Bay's Brian Griese and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.

    Besides, Bulger's initial shoulder injury this season had nothing to do with taking a hit in the pocket. It occurred while Bulger was in pursuit of an Indianapolis defender after throwing an interception. He got leveled.

    "I've learned just from the interception that I'm going to take defenders on with my left (non-throwing) shoulder, and be smarter about it," Bulger said.

    Including playoffs, Bulger played in 16 games last year and 16 in 2003 as well.

    "So one year where I got hurt like this, it's not too bad," he said. "But I know it hurt the team and affected the team, and I don't want it to happen next year."


  2. #2
    theodus69 Guest

    Re: Bulger has begun throwing, but return is questionable

    Marc, Rest!!!!! No need to come back this season!

  3. #3
    CanadianRam! Guest

    Re: Bulger has begun throwing, but return is questionable

    i actually want him to come back for SF game
    give this team some confidence and i just really want to see him play again..

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