Down time for Bulger
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Only once in the past five seasons has the Rams' starting quarterback made it through the entire 16-game schedule unscathed by injury. It won't happen this season, either.
Although no one is saying anything officially at Rams Park, quarterback Marc Bulger almost certainly will be sidelined until after the team's bye week (Nov. 6) after suffering a shoulder injury Monday night in Indianapolis.
Bulger is expected to miss this Sunday's game against New Orleans, plus the Rams' game Oct. 30 against Jacksonville. There's an outside chance that Bulger could return against the Jaguars. But it's more likely that he will remain sidelined until the Rams' game Nov. 13 in Seattle.
In the meantime, Jamie Martin will be the starter with rookie Ryan Fitzpatrick as the top reserve. It's possible the Rams could add a third quarterback to provide insurance until Bulger returns. Former Rams draft pick Jeff Smoker, released this preseason, remains available. But as of early Tuesday evening, no decision on adding a quarterback appeared imminent.
Bulger has been diagnosed with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. As far as any further bone or structural damage, X-rays Monday in Indy and an MRI Tuesday in St. Louis were negative.
The AC joint - or acromioclavicular joint - basically is where the shoulder blade meets the collarbone. Most shoulder separations occur at this point.
In terms of sprained AC joints, Bulger said, "I think there's all kinds of degrees. How far the joint separates and things like that. But fortunately, we took X-rays right off the bat, and there's no bone break or anything like that."
When asked Monday night how bad he thought this injury was, Bulger replied, "It seems similar in pain to last year."
And by "last year," he meant the shoulder injury he suffered Dec. 5 against San Francisco, not a lesser shoulder injury he suffered Oct. 24 in Miami.
"When I had the Miami (injury), I was able to go back in," Bulger said. "But I knew after this one (against the Colts), I was unable to continue. But hopefully we'll get some good news ... and they can shoot some crazy stuff in there, and I can come back sooner. Maybe. We'll see."
This marks the third time in four seasons that Bulger will miss time because of injury:
*Last season, he missed the Rams' Dec. 12 game in Carolina and Dec. 19 game in Arizona, as well as most of the Dec. 5 ***** contest because of the shoulder injury.
*In 2002, he missed Games 11-13 because of a hand injury, and then missed most of Game 15 and all of Game 16 because of neck and back injuries.
*In 2003, Bulger started every game after replacing the injured Kurt Warner (concussion) after Game 1.
Bulger's latest injury came early in the second quarter against the Colts, after he threw an interception.
"It's sort of a new route we were working on, and I probably thought through the read too much," Bulger said. "I had three or four keys on it, and on three of the four I was right on."
But in making those reads, Bulger said he forgot to take into account the whereabouts of weakside linebacker Cato June.
"He got his depth, and I made a bad throw, and things got worse as the play went on," Bulger said.
That's for sure. While June was in the process of making a 36-yard interception return, Bulger was flattened by another Colts linebacker - David Thornton.
Bulger and interim head coach Joe Vitt had no problems with Thornton's hit.
"It was clean," Vitt said. "Marc's trying to make a play. Marc's trying to make a tackle."
Bulger said: "I'm sure it's clean. I didn't give myself up. He made a block and finished it. It doesn't happen if I don't throw the interception. So that's the frustrating part."
Bulger entered the game as the NFL's leader in attempts, completions and passing yards this season. He was on a league-record pace in terms of completions and passing yards. And he started out red-hot Monday. Before the interception, he had completed six of seven passes for 121 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Curtis.
"When you lose your starting quarterback, your chances aren't good," running back Marshall Faulk said. "For Marc to go down on that play, it's like a double whammy right there. But things happen in this game."
And when it comes to injured quarterbacks, things seem to keep happening to the Rams.
Re: Down time for Bulger
more bad news!!! can this season get any worse!! Head coach and now our starting QB!!!