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Thread: Thomas: Bradford Unlikely To Play vs. Saints

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    Thomas: Bradford Unlikely To Play vs. Saints

    Bradford unlikely to play vs. Saints

    BY JIM THOMAS
    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Play football long enough and you'll have good days and bad days. But for Sam Bradford, not playing against Dallas because of a high ankle sprain made his game-day experience downright miserable. With the Rams playing in his backyard and with lots of family members and friends in attendance at Cowboys Stadium, Bradford could only watch as the Cowboys ran roughshod over the Rams 34-7.

    "It was tough," Bradford said. "Obviously, I had the hope all week that I was going to get to play. So never in my mind did I really think (about) what it was going to be like on Sunday not to play."

    Bradford said the reality of missing an NFL game for the first time since he entered the league hit him when he walked into the locker room before the game and didn't see his jersey padded up.

    "It just wasn't a good feeling," said Bradford, who is from Oklahoma City, which is about 200 miles north on Interstate 35. "Especially that atmosphere, having the opportunity to play in front of so many people that I knew, and just be out there with my teammates and play."

    Bradford might experience similar feelings this Sunday because he doesn't appear likely to play against visiting New Orleans in a noon kickoff at the Edward Jones Dome. Bradford didn't practice Wednesday and wasn't on the practice field. Veteran A.J. Feeley, in line for his second consecutive start, took all the reps with the starting offense.

    "We're not going to put weight on (the ankle), or do any bouncing around until it feels right," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo told reporters. "When we get to that point, then we'll let you know."

    Spagnuolo couldn't say for sure if Bradford would even test the ankle this week, much less play against the Saints. So the odds of Bradford returning this week seem remote. Before the Dallas game, Bradford tested the ankle that Friday under the watchful eye of head athletic trainer Reggie Scott.

    "I went through some run-game steps, went through some (pass) drops, some light jogging — things of that nature," Bradford said. "Things that I was going to have to do in the game."

    But Scott noticed that Bradford wasn't able to get up on his toes doing those drills.

    "In my opinion it looked great," Bradford said, smiling and rolling his eyes. "But according to Reggie everything was on my heel and it just wasn't nearly as fast as it needed to be."

    As Spagnuolo put it, "Until Sam comes back out here with Reggie and does something standing up and getting on his toes, we're just not going to know (if he can play)."

    When Bradford woke up the next day following that light workout, the ankle was substantially more sore than it had been during the week. It was then that the decision was made not only to scratch Bradford from the lineup against Dallas, but also to put him in a firmer cast as opposed to the walking boot he had been wearing.

    The cast helped, Bradford said. But with the ankle feeling better than it did Saturday, the cast was taken off Wednesday and Bradford was back in the boot. He began light strengthening exercises on the ankle Wednesday.

    "I think we're going to take it kind of day to day, and when they feel I'm ready to test it out again, we'll test it out again and see how it goes," Bradford said.

    All the while, Bradford has kept his head in each week's game plan by taking mental reps. But because the medical staff has wanted him off his feet and getting treatment as much as possible, these mental reps have come from watching tape of practice, not watching practice live.

    "Obviously, they're a little bit different than when you're at practice actually going through it," Bradford said. "I just have to put that much more time in away from practice, whether it's here or at my house watching tape. Making sure that I understand exactly why we're doing the things we're doing on offense. Looking at A.J., seeing the calls he's making, whether in protection, whether they're audibles. Knowing our checks, knowing everything like that."

    As for Feeley, he's expecting to start against the Saints until someone tells him differently. After spending basically all of the regular season throwing for the scout team, Feeley says the handful of practices running the Rams' offense since Bradford's injury have helped a lot.

    "Things are going smoother," Feeley said. "I'm learning every day more and more about this offense. Just stepping in the huddle and calling the play and seeing things, it's becoming a little easier."

    It had been four seasons since Feeley's last start, so even though the outcome wasn't what he wanted in Dallas, it was a blast to get back out there.

    "I'm an older guy now," said Feeley, 34. "A chance to play a sport that you love in an atmosphere like that, against a team like that, and with the guys around me — there were times where I soaked it up. Not that I got caught up in the moment or anything, but there's times where you step back and ... realize this is pretty awesome."

    As for his performance against the Cowboys. ...

    "As the quarterback, you're evaluated on kind of how the offense goes," Feeley said. "We didn't put many points up on the board, so it wasn't a great day. We need to continue to improve, but definitely there's a couple throws that I want back. Other than that, I thought it went decent, but not great."


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    Re: Thomas: Bradford Unlikely To Play vs. Saints

    sheesh...I think I'll start the saints defense in Fantasy this week...

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    Re: Thomas: Bradford Unlikely To Play vs. Saints

    I know we're going to lose, but thats not my point. I would like to see this team turn on the competitive fire that they have not done since game 1. Also, it would help if A.J. Feeley would throw a TD pass, AT LEAST , my goodness, c'mon man. We cant simply rely on Jax to do EVERYTHING!!!

    Someone/some players from the Rams have to step up this Sunday and knock some one in the frickin mouth!!!

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    Re: Thomas: Bradford Unlikely To Play vs. Saints

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    sheesh...I think I'll start the saints defense in Fantasy this week...

    VERY WISE decision.... By golly, playing ANY defense against the Rams is a safe bet for any fantasy league, regardless of rules. Sad but true at this point.

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    Re: Thomas: Bradford Unlikely To Play vs. Saints

    2011 season... scratch. Don't even take this season serious looks like Rams have thrown in the towel. no need to risk the franchise.
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

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    Re: Thomas: Bradford Unlikely To Play vs. Saints

    Hey at least Bradford will be protected this way
    Nick, LA Rammer and RockinRam like this.

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    Re: Thomas: Bradford Unlikely To Play vs. Saints

    He should play even if he's hurt? If he's injured, he's injured. It wouldn't matter if the Rams were 6-0 instead of 0-6.

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    Re: Thomas: Bradford Unlikely To Play vs. Saints

    Quote Originally Posted by rNemesis View Post
    I know we're going to lose, but thats not my point. I would like to see this team turn on the competitive fire that they have not done since game 1. Also, it would help if A.J. Feeley would throw a TD pass, AT LEAST , my goodness, c'mon man. We cant simply rely on Jax to do EVERYTHING!!!

    Someone/some players from the Rams have to step up this Sunday and knock some one in the frickin mouth!!!
    A.J doesn't choose the plays. It's not his decision to hand it off to Jackson three times in one drive.

    A.J took some shots downfield, which surprised but impressed me, but with our receivers, throwing a a TD pass to them is highly unlikely.

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