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[PD]: Bulger sets team record, injury updates
Bulger sets team record
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
GREEN BAY, WIS. — In his typical self-effacing fashion, quarterback Marc Bulger was unaware that he had broken a longstanding Rams record Sunday at Lambeau Field.
But his incomplete pass on the first play of the fourth quarter gave him 207 consecutive passes without an interception, breaking the record set by Roman Gabriel in 1968-69.
"You're going to have to be fortunate to do it," Bulger said. "Obviously, you can throw good balls and have a good streak. But I could've had a couple interceptions here and there. I don't want to start worrying about not throwing interceptions, because I'll lose that aggressiveness."
In fact, the streak almost ended on pass No. 206, which tied the record, but Green Bay cornerback Al Harris dropped what looked like a sure interception at the end of the third quarter.
By game's end, the streak was at 214 passes. It spans all five games this year and dates to Bulger's final two games of 2005 before he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.
"Yeah, who would've thought that three or four years ago, when I was up in the 20s," Bulger said.
Bulger threw a career-high 22 interceptions in 2003, his first full season as a starter. Obviously, he has embraced coach Scott Linehan's mantra of protecting the football.
"Marc's playing smart," Linehan said. "He's been good with the ball. He's directing our running game. He's managing the clock. I'm just really happy with him."
The Rams didn't dress cornerback Fakhir Brown because of a sprained ankle. Brown tested the ankle before the game, but according to Linehan, "It was just too painful."
The Rams' other starting cornerback, Travis Fisher, left early in the second quarter with a groin injury. Although he was not listed on the team's injury report last week, it bothered him entering the game.
Fisher's replacement, Ron Bartell, left with cramps and a calf strain in the third quarter.
Linebacker Will Witherspoon tweaked his ankle late in the second quarter but missed just four plays.
After missing last week's game against Detroit with a concussion, left tackle Orlando Pace was back in the lineup Sunday and played well.
A stiff wind blowing from the south end zone made for some interesting kickoffs and punts Sunday.
"Those flags on top (of Lambeau) were blowing pretty hard," kicker Jeff Wilkins said. "I'd say it was about a 10-yard difference, easy, on field goals, and then on kickoffs maybe even more than that."
On kickoffs with the wind at his back in the first and third quarters, Wilkins booted a pair of touchbacks and sent another to the Green Bay 1. On kickoffs into the wind, Wilkins' kicks were fielded at the Green Bay 22, 27 and 18.
"I was hitting those (into the wind) as hard as I can, like I was hitting the ones that were going 5, 6, 7 yards deep (in the end zone) the other way," Wilkins said. "I've got to work on my 'windball,' and try to lower it a little bit, I guess."
Wilkins also tried to kick a ball to the left on a kickoff late in the second quarter, and it sailed out of bounds at the Green Bay 22.
By rule, Green Bay took over on the 40, which led to a field goal as the half ended.
Besides Brown, other pregame inactives for St. Louis were LB Jon Alston, LB Jamal Brooks, DE Brandon Green, G Mark Setterstrom, FB Paul Smith and G-C Larry Turner.