Originally published December 7, 2011 at 9:24 PM | Page modified December 7, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Rams missing their top QBs in practice

Sam Bradford ran in the pool and rode an exercise bicycle as the St. Louis Rams tried to nurse their quarterback back to health.

quotes St Louis has to be thinking draft picks now although all the pressure is on Seattle in... Read more


ST. LOUIS — Sam Bradford ran in the pool and rode an exercise bicycle as the St. Louis Rams tried to nurse their quarterback back to health.

If Bradford can't go Monday night in Seattle, the Rams (2-10) will likely be down to a player with zero NFL snaps because backup A.J. Feeley has all but ruled himself out with a broken thumb on his right hand.

"It's pretty sore right now. It's pretty swollen. It's pretty tough to grip," Feeley said.

Tom Brandstater, elevated from the practice squad last week, took snaps with the first string in an abbreviated practice that lasted about an hour Wednesday. The former Fresno State standout has been on the active roster for three games this year and a full season with Denver in 2009 after getting drafted in the sixth round.

Bradford, dealing with a bad ankle, lobbied to play before the 49ers game last weekend but was held out to avoid further injury. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said it was too early to hazard a guess about Bradford's status for this week.

The plan is for Bradford to practice as little as possible.

"His status is the same," Spagnuolo said. "We're trying to get it to Monday."

Feeley said it would be at least a week before swelling subsides and he can attempt to grip the ball.

"If it's a pain-tolerance thing, I have no problem going through with it," Feeley said. "But if it's giving way every time I grip the ball because the bone is shifting, it probably won't work out."

The Rams are stockpiling quarterbacks just in case, signing Kellen Clemens to the roster and Matt Gutierrez to the practice squad. Clemens, 28, was released by the Texans on Monday after spending two weeks with that team.

Safety Darian Stewart practiced after being cleared from a concussion that sidelined him last week.

Archie Manning

changes mind

INDIANAPOLIS — Archie Manning figures Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck can coexist in Indianapolis after all.

One day after Archie Manning told an Indy radio show he didn't think either quarterback wanted to be on the same team, he backtracked and said he thought the two could work together just fine — if the winless Colts get the No. 1 pick next spring and choose Luck.

"I'm sure they could," Manning said. "Andrew is a great young man and we've enjoyed getting to know him. He and Peyton have a friendship, and I'm one of the few people out there that's not really concerned about this deal. All good people respect each other, and I'm sure this will all shake out."

The connection between the Mannings and the Lucks dates back almost three decades when Archie Manning and Luck's father, Oliver, were teammates in Houston.

The two family patriarchs still communicate and their quarterback-playing sons have gotten to know one another, too. Andrew Luck has attended the Manning Passing Academy as both a pupil and a counselor, and after making up his mind to return to school last winter, the Stanford quarterback contacted Peyton Manning asking for advice about how to handle this season.


• Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman said his injured throwing shoulder is improving and he hopes to be able to play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

• Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller practiced with a cast covering the injured right thumb that sidelined him a week ago.

Mike Martz plans to return as the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator next season. He dismissed a report that said he will be gone after the season.

• Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson returned to practice on a limited basis, another sign he's making progress recovering from a concussion. Linebacker Erik Walden was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct-domestic abuse after a fight with his girlfriend.

Jeff Garcia signed with the Houston Texans and will be their No. 3 quarterback behind rookie T.J. Yates and Jake Delhomme.

• The New York Giants placed offensive tackle Stacy Andrews on injured reserve with blood clots in both lungs and signed Tony Ugoh to fill the roster spot.

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