The St. Louis Rams start preseason play tomorrow night, with a game against the Vikings in St. Louis. Injuries will keep a few big names on the sideline while several other players who have been nursing an injury will be ready to go. Let's review:
You saw VT's fanshot, but it's worth repeating. A.J. Feeley will start the game, work for a mere 8-12 plays before giving way to Sam Bradford. Reading between the lines, what does that tell you? The Rams must feel like Bradford is closer than many thought he would be as fas as being ready to start. This still qualifies as easing him in, but the coaches must already be thinking about Bradford starting in week 1. Remember, Feeley hasn't thrown a pass in an NFL game since 2007, meaning he could use a little practice himself.
Steven Jackson won't play much, "if at all," while the team eases him in after summer back surgery. Obviously Jackson knows what he's doing, but lost training camp time has been a factor in slow starts before. Fortunately, Jackson has been practicing, and he'll surely get a few preseason reps before Sep. 12.
OT Jason Smith is expected to play, after missing some time in camp recovering from a broken toe. He'll be on the right side with the ones. Jacob Bell and John Greco are out for Saturday night's action.
Craig Dahl will start at SS in place of the injured James Butler, who could miss a month with what is believed to be a torn MCL. Butler had been the defense's QB, but Dahl has a proven track record and MLB James Laurinaitis assumes a much bigger role in his second season.
The Rams leading scorer last season will not play this weekend. K Josh Brown has an injured hip, and the team has signed former Washington and Dallas kicker Shaun Suisham. Hmm, you wonder how much longer Brown will be around. The Rams signed him to a 5-year deal in 2008, and he'll make $7.4 million over the next three years. Could they look to him if they need to trim salary down the road?
CB Ron Bartell is out this week, but should be ready for the next game.