Rams dealing with QB uncertainty

Rams QB Marc Bulget is likely to miss the game against the Vikings Sunday while he recovers from a shoulder injury. That leaves the door open for Kyle Boller once again.

Rams quarterback Marc Bulger will likely miss his second straight start this week because of a bruised rotator cuff suffered in Week 3 against Green Bay.

However, Bulger has improved each day with his throwing, and there is the strong possibility he will be the No. 2 quarterback behind Kyle Boller this week against Minnesota.

After Wednesday's practice, Bulger said, "We're progressing well. I threw with a little bit of pain. I just have to get my strength back in my arm a little bit. I think it went as well as we thought it would.

"From last week to this week, I've gotten a lot of range of motion back and I've been in there (with the trainers) twice a day pretty much. Working on that and the strength, getting the massaging and inflammation out; I don't think that throwing will be an issue this week."

Bulger threw only intermediate length passes Wednesday, but threw longer ones Thursday with decidedly more zip. He acknowledged that being able to get hit is the major issue now.

He said, "I can throw and do everything. It's just a matter of taking a hit now. I think the trainers are able to tell the level of weight I can do and exercises when we go in the training room to feel if it's ready to take a hit. If it was just a throwing issue, I think I could get out there. But we have to see later in the week if they think I'm ready to get hit on it."

With Boller expected to start, he is anxious to get on the field and have some improvement with an offense that is ranked 30th in the NFL.

"I want to be out there, especially after last week coming off a tough loss," he said. "This is another opportunity for our offense to get things going. We just have to go out there and take one play at a time and execute. This week I look at it as we got to take the details and just fine-tune everything and just go out there on Sunday and just take care of one play at a time."

Whether it's been with Boller or Bulger under center, the offense has had mistakes that have led to stalled drives.

Said Boller, "We just can't have them. Plain and simple, that's what it comes down to. We got to go out there every play and play it like it's your last. We need to have 11 guys doing the right thing. You hate seeing big plays get brought back. You get in long down and distances and your chances go down if you're not converting and scoring. We just can't let that happen."

NOTES

  • QB Kyle Boller took all the snaps with the first team Thursday and is expected to start Sunday's game against Minnesota.

  • WR Donnie Avery, who missed practice Wednesday because of a sore hamstring, practiced Thursday and was said to be fine by coach Steve Spagnuolo.

  • WR Keenan Burton did not practice Thursday for the second straight day because of a sore hamstring. Burton did not feel enough improvement from how it felt Wednesday to "push it," according to coach Steve Spagnuolo. "We want to be smart with it," Spagnuolo said.

  • WR Ruvell Martin wasn't able to finish practice Thursday because of a sore hamstring.

  • WR Nate Jones participated with the first team in practice Thursday because of hamstring problems that had Keenan Burton and Ruvell Martin sidelined.

  • OT Jason Smith participated in more snaps Thursday than he did Wednesday, and coach Steve Spagnuolo said he felt better after practice than he did Wednesday. There was still no indication whether there's a possibility Smith could start Sunday against the Vikings.

  • S Anthony Smith did not practice Thursday because of an Achilles injury.

  • CB Ron Bartell practiced Thursday for the second straight day after missing last Sunday's game because of a quadriceps injury. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Bartell was "especially better today. I thought he practiced well."


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