Unending thumb questions begin to wear on Warner

Friday, November 16, 2001

ST. LOUIS -- Kurt Warner fielded more questions about his sprained right thumb on Thursday, and he's getting tired of the subject.

The St. Louis Rams' quarterback offered a weak smile at the notion he had the "most-talked-about thumb in America."

"I think it's more frustrating than anything when people keep asking you about it," Warner said. "Especially when there's nothing you can do. What do you say? It feels good, it doesn't feel good. So what?"

Warner, who has thrown seven interceptions the last two weeks, said the injury won't be cause for anxiety in Sunday night's game at New England.

"I'd rather not have it, but it doesn't make me nervous," Warner said. "It's just one of those things you deal with and I've been dealing with it for eight weeks now.

"Nobody talked about it for the first six weeks of the season and then I threw a couple of interceptions so now everybody wanted to make it, 'Well, it must be the thumb."'

Coach Mike Martz said Warner, who had a cortisone shot on Monday, reported no problems with the thumb in practice on Thursday.

"His thumb feels real good," Martz said. "I think he's a little surprised how good it feels, to be honest with you."

On Wednesday, Martz said that Warner's reps would be reduced in practice, but to guard against arm fatigue and not because of his thumb. Warner said he felt some tightness in his biceps in 1999, the Rams' Super Bowl season and his last full season.

"My arm has felt the best it's felt, I don't know, since college," Warner said. "I have no problems. I think it's more just a precautionary thing where he just wants to stay on top of it so it doesn't become a problem."

Warner figured over time Martz likely would forget about this commitment.

"I think over time it'll subside and he'll keep me in there," Warner said. "He always starts out with a bang and it kind of dwindles as he gets more focused.

"He forgets about it and I get to stay in."

NOTES: Offensive guard Tom Nutten, who is questionable with a high ankle sprain, did not practice Thursday and Martz said Frank Garcia likely would start in his place. "Truth be known, if we had to start him this week we probably could," Martz said. "But we're not going to do that unless he's ready to go." ... Center Andy McCollum, who left practice due to a complication with his wife's pregnancy Wednesday, returned Thursday.

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