Bradford may start Thursday vs. Patriots

Monday, August 23, 2010
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford hands off to running back Chris Ogbonnaya in the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the the Cleveland Browns Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

A hand injury may keep quarterback A.J. Feeley out of the next preseason game

ST. LOUIS -- Sam Bradford could take over as the St. Louis Rams' starting quarterback in the next preseason game, although the promotion would be by default.

A.J. Feeley injured his thumb and elbow in the first quarter when he hit a defensive player's helmet on the followthrough of a throw in a 19-17 victory at Cleveland on Saturday night, and was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam. The Rams have a short week, playing again Thursday night at New England.

"Obviously, this goes without saying, if Feeley can't work during the week, Sam would be the guy," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said Sunday. "We'll have to see where A.J. is. It's hard to tell."

Spagnuolo said Feeley had a "tingling sensation" up his arm after the throw. X-rays on the elbow were negative.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford hands off to running back Chris Ogbonnaya during Saturday's preseason game. (Tony Dejak ~ Associated Press)

Bradford, the No. 1 pick in the draft, was the backup the first two preaseason games for a team that went 1-15 last season. He didn't have a scintillating game against the Browns, going 6 of 14 for only 24 yards in a game played in driving rain.

"I think I've played one game like this, maybe," Bradford said, "You have to realize that you probably can't make all the throws that you usually can, especially for someone who throws down the field."

Spagnuolo judged Bradford's play as "a little bit up and down," while noting a few dropped passes didn't help his statistics. He also faulted the rookie for being too careful with the center snap at times, just as in the preseason opener.

At Oklahoma, Bradford took the vast majority of his snaps from the shotgun formation.

"We really preach to the quarterbacks, especially Sam, to make sure you get the snap," Spagnuolo said. "Sometimes when you do that, you're overly conscious about getting the ball.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford passes in the rain during Saturday's preseason game against the Browns. Bradford was 6 of 14 passing for 24 yards. The Rams won 19-17. (David Richard ~ Associated Press)

"Sam will be fine. He'll bounce back."

Bradford said he was being careful because the ball was wet.

"Considering the circumstances, it was a positive that we didn't have any balls on the ground," Bradford said.

Feeley was 5 of 6 for 45 yards and threw a touchdown after he was hurt.

"I tried to battle through it and luckily enough, we got in the end zone pretty quick," he said. "I figured if I could get a little more time the pain would go away."

The Rams (1-1) allowed no sacks a week after surrendering six in a 28-7 loss to the Vikings. The offensive line was intact after guard Jacob Bell returned from an injury and had a lot more success particularly in zone blocking schemes.

"Pass protection was great," Bradford said. "I think I only got hit one time, and they actually brought a blitz we couldn't pick up at that time."

Spagnuolo wasn't happy that the offense produced only six points off five turnovers, and said the Rams needed red zone work on both sides of the ball.

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