The St. Louis Rams expect quarterback Sam Bradford's status for this weekend's game against the Dallas Cowboys to be a game-time decision, a source with knowledge of the situation said Thursday, but he hasn't been able to do enough at this point to play.
According to the source, the hope early in the week was Bradford could play with a high ankle sprain, but given the nature of his injury, no one was certain. After Bradford missed his second consecutive practice Thursday, it appears playing Sunday is less likely. The team hopes Bradford can do more in walkthroughs and practice Friday.
If Bradford can't play, A.J. Feeley would start.
Bradford's injury is one that often sidelines players for up to a month, but the quarterback said Wednesday that the ankle was improved from earlier in the week and that he believed his playing would be a matter of "pain tolerance," not how much he is able to practice this week.
While we're reasonably high on Bradford for the rest of the season (with the addition of Brandon Lloyd), he wouldn't be a good start against a pretty tough Dallas pass defense anyway. Owners in need should turn to fairly dependable options like Colt McCoy, Matt Cassel or Matt Hasselbeck, or even Curtis Painter or Matt Moore, who have terrific matchups against the Saints and Dolphins, respectively.
Thursday, October 20, 2011, 7:07pm
Rams QB Sam Bradford (ankle) missed practice again Thursday. Bradford is expected to start per Adam Schefter though John Clayton speculated that he would not play. The Cowboys aren't a great matchup, but Brandon Lloyd is expected to play, so Bradford should get a small boost. It remains to be seen how effective he'll be on a sprained ankle. We'll know more on Friday, when Bradford is expected to test his ankle.
Thursday, October 20, 2011, 1:22pm
Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "It looked like he didn't skip a beat, kind of stepped in there and looked like he had been in there for a month. It will take some work to get the timing down, but he does know the system."
Lloyd is an old hand at getting the timing down. Only once in his career has Lloyd worked with the same QB the entire season, 2007, with the Redskins and Jason Campbell. So, whether A.J. Feeley or Sam Bradford gets the call Sunday against the Cowboys seems irrelevant.
"I'm pretty used to switching around," he said with a hearty laugh. "So it doesn't matter who the quarterback is."
Normally we're not fans of WRs who change teams midseason, but Lloyd has two things going for him: He knows the offense and there is plenty of opportunity for snaps and targets in the Rams less-than-stellar receiving corps. The biggest hurdle for Lloyd is developing a rapport with Sam Bradford, who is missing practice with a sprained ankle.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 7:31pm
Rams QB Sam Bradford (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Bradford is expected to start per Adam Schefter. The Cowboys aren't a great matchup, but Brandon Lloyd is expected to play, so Bradford should get a small boost. It remains to be seen how effective he'll be on a sprained ankle.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011, 1:09pm
During an appearance on 101 ESPN in January, when Brandon Lloyd was asked how much credit Rams OC Josh McDaniels should receive for his phenomenal numbers in 2010, he said, "All of it. He provided the right environment for me to thrive in. He gave me confidence and most importantly he gave me opportunity. With this offense, it allowed Kyle (Orton) to be able to throw the ball like he could throw the ball and have the confidence to do it. Josh was the sole provider of that confidence and opportunity for both of us."
We're expecting good things from Lloyd as he joins the Rams. He's familiar with the offense and has an OC that is willing to use him. He also had a good QB throwing him the ball. The question will be how quickly can Sam Bradford and Lloyd develop the timing and rapport that is so crucial to QB/WR success.
Monday, October 17, 2011, 6:07pm
Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Bradford had a noticeable limp when he reported for a team meeting Monday afternoon.
It was widely reported last week the Broncos were open to dealing Lloyd and shopped around ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline. The Rams, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots were all known to be in discussions with the Broncos, sources told The Denver Post.
Lloyd, 30, is scheduled to make $1.395 million this season. He led the league last season with 1,448 yards on 77 receptions and scored 11 touchdowns.
Lloyd has 19 catches for 283 yards and no touchdowns this season.
The Rams offense has struggled getting off the ground, and Josh McDaniels is obviously familiar with Brandon Lloyd from his time in Denver. Lloyd should step in as the WR1, but we don't see a mid-season change of scenery as a huge boost to his fantasy value.
Danario Alexander will likely be the two with Brandon Gibson taking a back seat and Mike Sims-Walker (healthy scratch) possibly being released. Mark Clayton doesn't look to be a factor at this point. This could help Sam Bradford, but could take some time. One thing the Rams do have going for them is an easier schedule moving forward.
Monday, October 17, 2011, 10:46am
Quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a sprained left ankle on the Rams' last offensive play of the game — a 7-yard sack. But X-rays were negative, and Bradford said: "It's fine. I think they're just being a little cautious."
Thursday, October 13, 2011, 4:12pm
As for improving the Rams’ pass protection, Bradford said the onus is on the entire offense, including him.
"I think there are areas we all can get better in," Bradford said. "Pass protection isn’t just our linemen. It’s me getting the ball out quicker, finding check downs. It’s our receivers getting open. I think we all understand."
Bradford has had a tough schedule thus far, so he and the Rams offense have a chance to bounce back after the bye.
Friday, September 30, 2011, 7:33pm
Thursday, September 29, 2011, 7:01pm
Wednesday, September 28, 2011, 7:05pm
Rams QB Sam Bradford (toe) took full practice reps Wednesday. He sprained his toe against the Ravens, but based on his activity at practice, it doesn't appear to be bothering him. He should play in Week 4.
Friday, September 23, 2011, 9:59am
He said Thursday that he feels fine. He has to manage his knee, but he is hoping for more playing time in Sunday's home game against Baltimore (1-1).
"Yeah, I would love to be out there for more plays," said Alexander. "I'll just keep pushing forward. I don't have any pain. I manage it and the coaches are always watching. I want to stay fresh for the game."
Alexander has earned more playing time, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said.
"Danario had a great game and he's had a good week in practice," McDaniels said. "He's earned the right to be out there more certainly. We're excited about what he can do."
Coach Steve Spagnuolo acknowledged Alexander brings a different dimension to the offense.
"He's a big-play guy, a big, tall receiver," Spagnuolo said. "I think Sam likes throwing to him. He's done some productive things. We'll get him in there more and more. We all know what he's battling.
"I watch him all day. It's amazing what he does from a physical standpoint with the injury he has. He'll never tell you he has anything wrong but he does have to manage it."
The fact that Alexander was inactive for W1 underscores his injury history. He's a big play guy, so don't be surprised if he has a goose egg now and then if he and Sam Bradford fail to hook up on a deep pass.
Saturday, September 17, 2011, 4:17pm