Rams QB Bulger suffers setback in recovery from concussion; Berlin could start at Bengals Print
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Friday, 07 December 2007 10:37
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 ST. LOUIS (AP) -Rams quarterback Marc Bulger had a setback in his recovery from a concussion, meaning it's possible Brock Berlin, who has never attempted a pass in a regular-season game, might start Sunday at Cincinnati.
Bulger began feeling poorly during meetings Thursday afternoon, said Rams coach Scott Linehan, who added that the decision on a starter is likely to be made late Saturday.
Regular backup Gus Frerotte will be the emergency quarterback for the Rams. Frerotte partially tore the labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder in Sunday's win over Atlanta. Frerotte can hand off, but is unable to throw, Linehan said.
``Right now, I'm just getting ready to play,'' Berlin said. ``If my number is called, I'll be ready to play. Football is football. I've played it my whole life. If it does come, it's a great opportunity.''
The Rams have added 35-year-old veteran Todd Bouman to the roster. The 11-year veteran out of St. Cloud State practiced Friday. He has played in 42 games with Minnesota, Green Bay, New Orleans and Jacksonsville.
Bulger, who was not made available to the media after practice Friday, was injured in the first quarter of a 24-19 loss to the Seahawks on Nov. 25. He passed a medical exam Tuesday - after failing one last week - and was cleared to practice. He worked out Wednesday and Thursday and took some limited snaps Friday.
``He was able to pass his baseline test and that put him into position to practice,'' Linehan said. ``He had, what I thought, were two really good practices Wednesday and Thursday. He didn't feel real good in the afternoon meetings. Because of that, it's put some question in my mind as to whether or not he should be cleared to play.''
The Rams' medical personnel, coaches, trainers and Bulger will discuss the situation before a decision is made.
``We're not going to put anybody who is not 100 percent in harm's way,'' Linehan said. ``After I gather the information, I'll make a decision if he'll be our starting quarterback or if he'll be up at all.''
It's been an injury-plagued season for Bulger, who has also missed time because of broken ribs and a sprained thumb. Bulger has completed 61 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and nine interceptions in what has been a disappointing season after he signed a six-year, $65 million contract extension on the first day of training camp.
That deal made him the highest-paid player in franchise history. The contract included $27 million in guaranteed money and put him in a group of six quarterbacks making $10 million annually.
The 26-year-old Berlin was activated from the practice squad Nov. 27.
``I told Brock to get ready after the meeting Thursday afternoon,'' Linehan said.
The University of Miami graduate was undrafted in 2005 despite going 19-5 as a two-year starter for the Hurricanes. He has spent time with Dallas and Miami, as well as the Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europe.
After practice, Berlin and Bouman stayed longer and threw passes to various receivers. In the locker room, Torry Holt spent several minutes with Berlin at his locker.
``We were chatting just in case,'' Holt said. ``We were going over some things; just trying to have some clarity. ... I thought he looked good in practice. Brock has a big arm. We'll see how it goes.''
Bouman has six starts in the NFL. He has 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 129-of-230 passing. Bouman played in 2002 for Linehan when he was in Minnesota. He was released by Jacksonville on Nov. 20 after spending three weeks on the Jaguars' active roster.
CB Eric Bassey (knee) and OT Rob Petitte (concussion) are out for Sunday's game, and kick returner/receiver Brandon Williams (ankle) is questionable. Williams will be replaced by Marques Hagans.
 

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