Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Sam Bradford hopes to play Sunday
ST. LOUIS -- Whenever Sam Bradford is ready, A.J. Feeley is ready to step aside. That could be this week.
The St. Louis Rams upset the New Orleans Saints last week with Feeley behind center. But the 34-year-old backup quarterback has absolutely no delusions of grandeur.
"There's no quarterback controversy," Feeley said Wednesday. "That's absurd. This is Sam's team, Sam's the guy. I gladly accept my role when he comes back."
Bradford was on the field for practice, a change from the last two weeks when he's spent that time in the training room, and is hopeful of playing at Arizona on Sunday. He's out of a walking boot and wearing a less cumbersome brace to protect a high left ankle sprain that's sidelined him for two games.
Around the house, Bradford said he doesn't need a brace at all.
"It actually feels pretty good walking around," Bradford said. "Obviously, I haven't come back and tested it with running and full-speed drops. Hopefully, I'll do a little more tomorrow and we'll see where it is by the end of the week."
Bradford took some snaps during the walkthrough indoors, but coach Steve Spagnuolo said there wasn't much movement involved.
"He's still not at the point where we can put him out there in practice and put him in danger," Spagnuolo said. "If we can do a little more tomorrow, we'll do a little more.
"It's going to be baby steps until we're sure."
Bradford would be happy getting just enough practice snaps to get him to ready for game day.
"Whatever we do this week, I don't want to make it more sore for Sunday if I do play," Bradford said. "Whatever we do, make sure it's enough to get by and hopefully go into the game as fresh as possible."
Offensive tackle Jason Smith remained sidelined with his third concussion in three NFL seasons, and defensive tackle Darell Scott also had made no progress from his concussion.
Wide receiver Danario Alexander (hamstring), outside linebacker Brady Poppinga (calf) and offensive guard Tony Wragge (knee) were limited.
Bradford said there's been some benefit to watching, because he's gotten plenty of instant feedback from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
"There are things that are easier to see," Bradford said. "We can talk after every play on the sideline about certain things he saw or what he's coming to next."
Feeley has started the last two games, also his first two starts since 2007, and threw his first touchdown pass of the season in last week's 31-21 win over the Saints.
"It was finally one of those games where everybody did their job," Feeley said. "The thing doesn't go unless all 11 guys do what they're supposed to do. You've got to be on the same page."
The Rams were last in the NFL in scoring with a 9-point average before last week's explosion, leaning heavily on Steven Jackson and capitalizing on Brandon Lloyd's downfield speed.
Jackson had 159 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns, putting the team on his back after some inspirational words before the game. Lloyd was open on a couple of early deep balls that were overthrown but still made an impression on the Saints defense and caught a touchdown pass.
Feeley and Lloyd, each making their second start in Josh McDaniels' offense, both felt comfortable enough to improvise on Lloyd's 8-yard TD grab with 17 seconds to go in the half to put the Rams up 17-0. The opening was tight and Feeley threw a dart.
"As we broke the huddle, he was like 'I'm running this,'" Feeley said. "I was like, 'Alright.' Which rarely happens. I realized I had to drive it in there because there were two guys, and I was trying to find the hole, and he made a great play."
"He just looked at us and shook his head," Feeley said. "But he's played with Brandon before, and Brandon has a great sense of the game."
Bradford may get his first chance to throw to Lloyd soon.
"I'm pretty excited about it after watching him the past two games and see some of the things he's been able to do, especially what he's been able to do after the catch," Bradford said. "It seems like he gets yards that aren't there."