Sam Bradford may start for the St. Louis Rams sooner than expected. Sam Bradford is slated as the starter for the St. Louis vs. New England game on Thursday night, due to the injury to starting quarterback A.J. Feeley. According to ESPN, Feeley hurt his thumb and elbow in the first quarter of the Rams’ last preseason game while following through on a throw. He will be going through further exams (including an MRI) to figure out if there is any serious damage, but, even if there isn’t, the Rams might decide to keep him on the bench to let him rest that arm.
This could really be a chance for Bradford to step up and show that he was worth all the money the St. Louis Rams paid him to sign. This is the No. 1 overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft we are talking about as well, so you can imagine that the Rams aren’t really ready to feed him to the wolves (in this case, the Patriots’ starting defense) just yet. What it will do, though, is give Bradford the chance to play against the first team defense of New England, and show what he can do when he isn’t just playing against the second- and third-string players from the opposition.
So far in the 2010 NFL preseason, Sam Bradford has played in both games for the Rams, where they lost to the Minnesota Vikings and then beat the Cleveland Browns. Bradford is a combined 12 for 27 in passing for just 81 total yards, no touchdowns, and no positive rushing yards. On the plus side, he has not thrown an interception, but he has been beaten up a little bit. Against the Vikings, Bradford was sacked four times, but he showed that he could take NFL hits from one of the best defenses in the league and still survive. These still aren’t numbers worthy of a starting spot for the Rams, though, so he would really have to prove himself against the Patriots on Thursday.
A huge positive that the Rams have to take away from their game against Cleveland on Saturday was that the offensive line didn’t give up any sacks. That is great news for a team trying to break a rookie quarterback into the league, as it will likely prolong his health if they can keep protecting him that well. Bradford really needs to improve taking snaps from under center this preseason, and his adjustments to the pace of the NFL game still need more work. Maybe letting him start the next preseason game for the Rams would be the best idea, even if Feeley heals quickly, because it is better to let him make the rookie mistakes during fake preseason games than during the regular season.