EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford doesn't know what his NFL future holds and says he hasn't thought about it in the time since suffering a second torn ACL in his left knee in as many years.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since suffering the injury in the Rams' third preseason game Aug. 23 against Cleveland, an emotional Bradford made it clear his only focus right now is having the surgery to repair the knee and beginning work on the ensuing rehab.
"I haven't even thought that far ahead," Bradford said. "It's still pretty hard to comprehend right now. I think it will be good once I have the surgery because the rehab process will give me something to focus on and something to put my attention towards."
Bradford also acknowledged he's still trying to digest what happened in Cleveland. While he immediately felt the pain and knew something was wrong when he was hurt against Carolina on Oct. 20 last year, he said he felt no such sensation when he fell this time.
According to Bradford, he was able to walk off the field and assumed he had just broken up some scar tissue in the knee. When the doctor informed Bradford that there was concern about his ACL, he still held out hope that the MRI would reveal he would be OK.
"That's what was kind of tough for me to comprehend because it was so much different than last year's injury," Bradford said. "There wasn't any pain, there was no swelling, there were no signs that the knee had gone through any sort of trauma, so to find out my ACL was torn was even that much harder to believe."
As for the surgery, no date has been set yet, although Bradford said he is eyeing a few potential upcoming dates. He confirmed that Dr. James Andrews, the same doctor who operated on his knee last year, would handle the procedure again.
In the meantime, Bradford is hoping to again throw himself into being a teammate and offering help to his replacement, veteran quarterback Shaun Hill.
Bradford adopted a similar routine last year and spent much of the rest of the season on the sideline helping then-replacement Kellen Clemens.
"I enjoy being around here," Bradford said. "Hopefully the guys and Shaun enjoy having me around. It's going to be pretty similar to last year. I'll be rehabbing here, sitting in on meetings, going out to practice when I can and just offering my ideas when I have them and just trying to help Shaun and just be an ear and eye for him."
While Bradford knows the time will come when he has to think about his future, he's also well aware that the hardest thoughts to evade will be the ones about what could have been.
"I think that's the other really frustrating part is that we finally had everything going in the right direction around here," Bradford said. "I think this is as talented a team as I've ever been a part of on both sides of the ball. I was just so excited to get back out on the field and play with these guys from what we were able to do in OTAs and in training camp, I guess not knowing how it would have turned out this year is probably something that is going to eat me up for a while."