Being in sports talk radio, I tend to enjoy the one-day dustup of a story that contains factual information, but is couched as a real possibility rather than an unlikely outcome. Such was the case on Thursday, when Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com, who was in town this week for his season preview on the Rams, wrote of quarterback Sam Bradford’s problematic left ankle “there will be good days and bad days — it’s the nature of the injury — and when the season ends there is a definite possibility that a corrective procedure will be prescribed, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.”
LaCanfora is a terrific reporter, and there’s no doubt that someone at Rams Park told him of the possibility of a corrective procedure. But when asked if Bradford would need surgery if he aggravates his ankle injury, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said “No. A high ankle mechanism is serious stuff. There was a lot of separation in there last year. He tried to play through on it and he couldn’t. He’s doing fine.”
Bradford had a similar response, saying “That would be news to me. To be honest, I’m tired of talking about the ankle. Until it causes me to miss reps or miss time, it’s a non-issue.” Bradford was not pleased when he was asked about it, either. Even though he was the first one to bring the ankle up after the Rams scrimmage at the Dome two weeks ago, Bradford thinks too much attention has been paid to it.
So we’ve gone from LaCanfora writing of a possibility of surgery to Fisher saying emphatically, “No,” there won’t be one, and Bradford suggesting that the possibility would be news to him. Bradford was initially injured last October in Green Bay, and when asked if Bradford simply needs a full year to heal Fisher admitted “you have options. You can go in and fix it and you’re talking about 4-to-6 months, or you can just rehab it, which he did. Sometimes, it takes a little bit longer, but he’s really not having any issues.”
Bradford has moved reasonably well in practice, and was REALLY moving well according to observers on Thursday. When asked if HE thought Bradford was moving around OK, Fisher said “He’s fine, yes.” So an anonymous source says the ankle is going to be an issue, and the Rams deny it from top to bottom. A one day dustup. Until, of course, Bradford misses his first rep because of it.
By the way, Bradford WAS happy with second round wide receiver Brian Quick’s practice. “It seemed like the light bulb came on,” he said. Maybe it was because of the rain that forced the Rams into their indoor facility. “He thought he was back at App (Appalachian) State in his indoor facility – I think – because that’s what he did at his workout,” Fisher said. “So maybe he’s an indoor guy.”
When you watch the Rams this year, don’t leave for the concession stand when they try a field goal. Especially when they try a sixty-plus yarder. New kicker Greg Zuerlein, AKA “Greg the Leg” apparently has unlimited range. “Obviously he’s here for a reason because of his production and his accuracy and leg strength in college,” Fisher said. “We expected to see some good things but didn’t expect to see at this point what we’ve seen. So, he has to pretty much carry over what he’s done on the practice field and at our little scrimmage two weeks ago into games and get the opportunity.”
Fisher came into the NFL as a player with the 1981 Chicago Bears, so he’s been around. Can he compare Zuerlein to any other kicker he’s seen? “I’ve been around over the years some really good kickers, but he’s a little bit different.” The Rams could have something special in their new kicker.