Ah, the look on his face. Bulger and the many injuries the Rams have been taking is the main topic tonight. After the jump, I'll briefly talk about which players can gain favor with the coaches by playing well this week. With that appetizer complete, lets get into the meat and potatoes...
The news about Bulger's broken pinky finger should scare you. I've never been an optimist, however, Rams fans should know all too well what this injury could bring. For someone who may need a reminder, here is a quote by the AP from October 1st, 2002:
Kurt Warner will be sidelined 8-10 weeks with a broken pinkie on his throwing hand
Not only that, but strangely enough, another reminder can come from the very team he played when he injured that finger; The Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo, whose injury helped the Rams win a game (delayed revenge I suppose) last season, was nagged by that injury for most of the year. It stands to reason that even if Bulger's superhuman ability to take punishment allows him to recover in two weeks, the affects of the injury will still be felt long after the preseason ends. In conclusion, it doesn't normally turn out well.
These "short" injuries (Donnie Avery, Adam Carriker, Marc Bulger) that the Rams have been sustaining can really put a huge roadblock in judging the success of the coaching staff and their methodology (seems to remind of me of a situation a year or two back). Not only that, but coming into a new offense can be challenging, even for a veteran like Bulger. With new receivers and a new system, the preseason would have been the best time to develop a rhythm and tempo that could have helped take the strain of Steven Jackson, who last year struggled mightily out of the gate because he was extremely rusty from, you guessed it, a lack of preseason action.
So, with that in mind: be afraid...But hey, you can't get much worse (unless you live in Detroit)....can you?
At least we have some promising young talent, which segments into the next topic- players who can really make a impression this week:
Keith Null- His two touchdown performance last week at the very least should have impressed you, even against backups (and their backups). With Bulger out, another strong performance might give him a chance to start next weeks game. Let's be honest- Kyle Boller is Kyle Boller. While I'm not expecting Herculean-Kurt-Warner-esque miracles here, a good show of promise would be refreshing, especially at a position that has had a lot of scrutiny lately.
Laurent Robinson- That 50 yard bomb last week was simply fun to watch (I thought it was an old replay, I didn't think the Rams could go that far in one play). With injuries hurting this position badly too, Robinson can really look good if he can put on a repeat performance. It's basically the same idea as Null. This position has gone through a lot of needed change. Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce weren't what they used to be, but I'm sure everyone would like to see something nice out of this new group. I don't want to be longing for Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald halfway through the season...
Chris Long- This isn't really a "can make an impression" as much as a "needs to make an impression". The reports from last week were unimpressed, but I'll say it: We don't want busts at both DT and DE. Will Witherspoon can't do this all by himself, and with Long being such a hard working athlete, I would think he would get embarrassed if the Fans were longing for James Hall. He doesn't need heap on the sacks, but just show us he can pressure the QB. Show us that the "he's already peaked" talk was just Kiper being Kiper.