St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is ready to return Sunday
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Thursday, Nov. 27 2008
The fog has lifted, and quarterback Marc Bulger expects to be in the lineup
Sunday when the Rams take on the Miami Dolphins at the Edward Jones Dome.
"I'd say 99 percent, barring a setback," said Bulger, who then quipped, "I
haven't lifted a weight yet, but I don't lift too much weight anyway. So, I
don't think that'll be an issue."
Bulger suffered a concussion — his second in as many seasons and the third of
his NFL career — when Chicago defensive end Adewale Ogunleye sacked him on the
fifth play last Sunday. Trent Green took over, and then No. 3 quarterback Brock
Berlin ran the Rams' final series in the 27-3 loss.
"I was pretty foggy for about 30 minutes," Bulger said. "I was clearing up the
second half, but I think at that point the doctors wanted to do the safe thing,
and I kind of agreed with them."
A concussion last year kept Bulger out of two games. "I think that one was
worse. I felt foggy for days after," he said.
Bulger worked out at Rams Park on Tuesday, normally the players' day off. On
Wednesday morning, he passed a neurological exam, then took nearly all the
snaps with the first team at practice.
"If I have no more effects, I'm comfortable that I can be back" Sunday, Bulger
said. "I want to be out there to help us turn this thing around. I don't see a
reason why, just because the season's going bad, that I shouldn't be. ...
"Hopefully, the other guys realize that if you're just a little banged-up, you
should be out there. It's not a matter of record."
BACK AT PRACTICE
Running back Steven Jackson (thigh) and tackle Orlando Pace (knee) also
returned to practice. Pace, who sat out Sunday after suffering ligament damage
Nov. 16 at San Francisco, participated in all drills and is expected to start
Jackson, who has missed four of the past five games, took almost half the snaps
with the first unit. He still has to accomplish a bit more to convince coach
Jim Haslett that he's ready for game action.
"We'll give him a little more (work today), based on how he feels," Haslett
said. "Hopefully, there's not a setback. On Friday, we'll do short-yardage and
goal-line (drills), and he should be OK."
Although some tickets remain, Sunday's game officially has been designated a
sellout and will be televised locally on KMOV (Channel 4). None of the Rams'
six home games this year has been blacked out, although large numbers of
tickets remain for the final two — Dec. 14 vs. Seattle and Dec. 21 vs. San
Curses, fined again!
Haslett owes the NFL $20,000 for swearing at the officials during a 35-16 loss
to the *****. The incident occurred late in the third quarter, after a 29-yard
pass to Donnie Avery on the right sideline.
Concerned that Frisco would challenge whether Avery got both feet down
inbounds, Haslett wanted the Rams to quickly run the next play. He yelled at an
official who was standing over the ball at the line of scrimmage.
The Niners did challenge, and the call stood. But Haslett was penalized for
unsportsmanlike conduct, knocking 15 yards off the gain. He declined to comment
on the fine Wednesday.
Haslett was cited several times for verbal abuse of officials while head coach
of the New Orleans Saints from 2000 to 2005.
Rookie wide receiver Keenan Burton sat out Wednesday after having his knee
drained. ... High school football teams from Hazelwood East and Hazelwood
Central, who will be playing for state titles this week at the Edward Jones
Dome, practiced on the FieldTurf in the indoor facility at Rams Park.