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Monday, October 31, 2011
Sam Bradford out of protective boot

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- One day after the Rams picked up their first victory of the season, more good news may be on the way: Sam Bradford began to exercise Monday.

Bradford is no longer wearing a protective boot on his left ankle. He sustained a high ankle sprain two weeks ago in a loss at Green Bay. The quarterback did not play last week against Dallas and missed the Rams' stunning 31-21 upset of New Orleans on Sunday that improved St. Louis to 1-6.

"He did some strengthening exercises this morning," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He's moving around a little bit. I don't know that we'll get him on Wednesday (for practice), but we'll slowly work him in there. He's about the same right now.

"He'll be day to day and we'll see where we are after Wednesday."

"He's getting there," Spagnuolo said. "This thing, these high ankle sprains, you never know."

Spagnuolo acknowledged the win over the Saints was a milestone for his club, but cautioned against putting too much emphasis on it. Certainly, it is a confidence builder for the Rams.

"What's nice is you've been saying certain things to the football team all the way through this rough patch and what we thought they were capable of, and I think the players felt the same way," Spagnuolo said. "This is a little bit of the proof in the pudding, so to speak. Hopefully, you build on that. That's the hope.

"I will be cautioning the guys to the fact that many people on the surface looked at the schedule and said this was the gantlet, these seven games. Well, it's not going to get any easier. If you fall into the 'we're through the tough part and away we go,' then we're in trouble."

The overall record of the Rams' first seven opponents is 31-19. The record for the next four foes is 7-21. St. Louis is at Arizona this Sunday and then travels to Cleveland before coming home with two games in November against Seattle and Arizona.

"This Arizona team we're getting ready to play is going to be as tough a challenge as any of the seven we've already played. I really believe it," Spagnuolo said.

Steven Jackson scored two touchdowns in his first 100-yard rushing game in three seasons. Jackson had 159 yards on 25 carries.

Backup quarterback A.J. Feeley, starting for the second straight week in place of Bradford, threw his first touchdown pass in four years.

Young players stepped up for the Rams in the victory. Darian Stewart returned an interception for the clinching touchdown late in the fourth quarter, the team's first defensive score in more than two seasons. Rookie Robert Quinn, the team's No. 1 draft pick, blocked a punt to set up one score and had a sack.

"I'm tremendously proud of the team," Spagnuolo said. "I thought they fought hard. There's still plenty of work to do. We're certainly not blinded by the fact it's just one win. It was a good football team we played and it was a good win, but we still got a lot of work to do."

Notes

Starting CB Justin King (groin) was inactive Sunday after being listed as questionable. He will practice Wednesday. ... WR Mark Clayton still is bothered by an Achilles tendon injury but he is out of the protective boot he was wearing. ...OT Jason Smith and DT Darell Scott both will be out Wednesday. Both have not been cleared since sustaining concussions.