Feeley healthy again for Rams ..
BY JIM THOMAS Friday, September 10, 2010 9:00 am
After missing the past two weeks with a sprained thumb, quarterback A.J. Feely is ready to go.
Unfortunately for Feeley, so is Sam Bradford.
Feeley looked sharp engineering a game-opening touchdown drive against Cleveland in the Rams' second preseason game. But he suffered the thumb injury — on his throwing hand — during that drive. Until this week, Feeley hadn't played in a game or practiced since the injury.
"I feel good," Feeley said following Thursday's practice. "The grip and strength have come back."
Feeley has been working with the scout team in practice and has not been listed on the team's official injury report. Feeley can only wonder what might have been had he not suffered the thumb injury. Remember, Bradford struggled in the Browns' game, generating only one first down (via penalty) in seven series.
But Feeley isn't dwelling on that; he always knew he was keeping the seat warm for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft.
"I've said all along, it was going to be his job — it was just a matter of when." Feeley said. "It was kind of predicated on when he was ready. And he's ready.
"As a competitor, you want to play. But I'm here to help out that guy as much as I possibly can, and be there in case of an emergency if he gets hurt. So that's kind of how you approach it. It's not a negative thing; it's the way it is. It's a team game, and you understand that."
Feeley even says that his thumb injury turned out to be a positive for the team as a whole because it allowed Bradford to get more reps in practice, and more work in games with the starters (and against starting-caliber defenders).
"It might have been negative for me, but the positive side of that is it got that guy ready to go," Feeley said, motioning towards Bradford's locker stall. "The kid can throw the football, and he's not dumb. He's smart. So he's going to be fine. As long as we protect him, he'll be all right."
The only Rams player whose status is iffy for Sunday is strong safety James Butler. Butler suffered a medial collateral ligament injury in his right knee during the first week of training camp and missed all four preseason games.
This has been the first week since the injury that Butler has done any substantive work in practice. "He did more (Thursday)," coach Steve Spagnuolo said after practice. "We still kind of had him limited. He did a lot of work with the scout team, but he's slowly working his way back into playing speed."
Craig Dahl starts in Butler's place, but Spagnuolo hopes to have Butler on the game-day active list. If not, the only safety behind Dahl and Oshiomogho Atogwe is undrafted rookie Dorian Stewart.
And in Arizona
Most observers, Rams included, expect Arizona to have a more balanced offense minus retired quarterback Kurt Warner. But if the Cardinals are going to feature a stronger running attack Sunday, it's looking more and more like they will be doing it without their leading rusher from a year ago, Beanie Wells.
Wells was held out of practice again on Thursday with what the Cardinals say is a bruised knee. He hasn't practiced since suffering the injury Sept. 2 in the team's preseason finale against Washington.
Meanwhile, pass rushing specialist Joey Porter (back) was upgraded to full participation Thursday (from limited participation Wednesday). Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was full participation again Thursday in practice. Fitzgerald missed most of the preseason with a knee injury but is expected to start against the Rams.
Game officially on local TV
The Rams made it official Thursday afternoon, announcing that the opener against Arizona will be televised locally. Ron Pitts and former Pro Bowl safety John Lynch are the announcers for the FOX broadcast (KTVI, Channel 2), with kickoff at 3:15 p.m. in the Edward Jones Dome.
Re: Feeley healthy again for Rams ..
Two points. First, John Lynch is a fantastic color guy. I think he is as good or better as anyone else on tv. Second, if all goes well, Feeley will not appear in a single game all year (or ever for that matter) for the Rams.
Ramming speed to all