Bulger misses practice but not yet ruled out - KMOV.com

Bulger misses practice but not yet ruled out

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Marc Bulger did not practice Wednesday, increasing the likelihood the winless St. Louis Rams will go with backup Kyle Boller at quarterback on Sunday in San Francisco.

Coach Steve Spagnuolo has not ruled out Bulger, who has a bruised rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. Bulger rode a stationary bicycle and did exercises along with safety James Butler and offensive tackle Jason Smith, both recovering from knee injuries.

"I know we wanted to shut him down today, that was the game plan so as not to aggravate it," Spagnuolo said of Bulger. "I think after he gets his treatment and gets here in the morning then we'll make another assessment."

Bulger believes there's a chance he could be ready, although he judged it wouldn't have been pretty if he'd attempted to throw Wednesday.

"It would have to be a major improvement, but I'm taking it day by day," Bulger said. "I think doing anything right now, at least today, would set me back to Sunday again.

"I'm trying to get it healthy as quick as I can, and if I can go I'm going to go."

Bulger has sought a second opinion about the injury. He said any quarterback with a shoulder injury would do the same.

"It's not a reflection on anyone, it's just another set of eyes," Bulger said.

Boller threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter last week before the Rams' comeback fizzled in a 36-17 loss to the Packers. Boller had 42 career starts for Baltimore but missed all of last season following a shoulder injury.

Like Bulger, he's completed 51.5 percent of his passes.

Boller threw a block for Steven Jackson last week against the Packers and said he wouldn't alter that aggressive style if he got his first start since Dec. 16, 2007, even if the third-string quarterback is rookie Keith Null. He recalled Null reminding him to take it easy.

"He said, 'What are you doing?" Boller said. "I said, 'I'm playing football, man.' That's my nature, I like doing that kind of stuff."

Boller said he played linebacker as a kid and takes that mentality onto the field.

"It's my time to take it out on them," he said. "Instead of being hit all the time, you get to actually hit them."

Whoever gets the call will be working with a cast of unknowns at wide receiver. Laurent Robinson had emerged as the Rams' top wide receiver with 13 catches, a 12.8-yard average and three touchdowns after totaling only five receptions last year, but was placed on injured reserve Wednesday with a high right ankle sprain accompanied by a fractured right fibula.

Donnie Avery, the only other player in double figures, has 10 catches for only a 6.2-yard average and has committed two costly turnovers.

"It's tough, but at the same time that's football," Boller said. "Guys are going to be coming in and out. These guys are going to step up and it's my job to make it as easy as possible on them, and for them to make plays for me."

Spagnuolo said Smith, who missed last week's game, was questionable this week. Offensive tackle Alex Barron (thigh) and cornerback Ron Bartell (thigh, groin) both were limited in practice on Wednesday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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