If there's one thing the Rams don't want to do right now, it's push the injured starters back before they're ready. Overreacting? Maybe, but 0-6 and local, regional and national media talking about coaching changes can prompt some desperate moves.
Besides the news on Bulger coming back next week, this tidbit in the PD about Steven Jackson practicing again got me worried:
Groin injuries can be kind of tricky and tough to read. Linehan's hedging his bet with SJ here. He has to get a reasonable gauge on SJ's status, which is complicated by the fact that Jackson's own read on the injury is motivated more by a desire to compete than a reasoned assessment of his status. If they push him in practice, they'll get a better idea of where he's at, but they also risk furthering the injury. It's a tough call, and I'd be more inclined to hold him back since our fate this season is kind of sealed already.
It's those other factors, the push to win a game, salvage ticket sales and save jobs that add an unknown variable to the situation.
In regards to starting Bulger, I don't know if they have much choice. Frerotte's hardly delivered an inspiring performance (making you wonder why the Rams signed him for $2 million plus) and after embarrassing the team in Baltimore and getting sacked on what seemed like every other play, he might be just as banged up and gun shy as Bulger was three weeks ago. Bulger, despite two weeks off, is still not 100%, and may not be for the rest of season. Protecting him won't just be a key to this game, the team's next few season really depend on it.
The Seahwaks have 16 sacks on the season and a pass defense ranked 9th in the league per Football Outsider's DVOA. They failed to register a sack in their loss to the New Orleans on Sunday, and the defense looked mostly lost against the formerly winless Saints.
The NFL trade deadline is today, and I'm a little surprised there hasn't been more talk of the Rams making some moves. Obviously, this season's over, so moving a few guys to teams still eyeing contention and dealing with key injuries makes sense. Trades in the NFL don't quite work like they do in the other pro sports leagues (or at least hockey and baseball since those are the only others I follow with any regularity), so it's not that simple. Still, at this point getting another pick or two in next year's draft would be a bright spot in the season. Of course, getting some help for the O-line might be nice too, since we do still have to play 10 games and risk further injuries to our QBs. But teams with depth on the O-line aren't interested in trading it away, for obvious reasons.