Bradford, others expected back this week

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams played Friday night's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints without nine of their 22 projected starters.

Some sat because of injuries; others sat because coach Jeff Fisher wanted to protect them in their return from previous ailments. But Fisher indicated after the game that his team would be playing with something closer to a full deck when the Green Bay Packers come to town next Saturday.

Headlining the list is quarterback Sam Bradford.

"We’ll get some guys back this week," Fisher said. "As I told you guys, we deliberately held some people out. We’ll get some people back this week, not that Sam was held out for medical reasons, but he’s going to play."

Bradford, of course, is still in the process of working his way back from the anterior cruciate ligament surgery that ended his 2013 season nine games early. He's been full-go in this training camp and hasn't had any noticeable setbacks along the way. In fact, he's taken nearly every repetition with the first-team offense.

Against the Saints, the Rams were also without left tackle Jake Long and center Scott Wells, who are coming back from knee surgery and illness, respectively. Fisher indicated that both probably could have played if necessary, but the team wanted to take proper precaution. It remains to be seen if they'll play against Green Bay, but it would seem they both could, if Fisher chooses to go that way. Wells, in particular, has been getting quite a bit of work and looks poised for a return.

Among the others still dealing with minor injuries, linebacker James Laurinaitis (ankle), guard Rodger Saffold (stinger), defensive tackle Michael Brockers (ankle) and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (hamstring) are considered day-to-day propositions. The same can be said for others dealing with unknown injuries, a list that includes defensive tackle Kendall Langford and offensive lineman Barrett Jones.

Cornerbacks Trumaine Johnson and Brandon McGee have been battling minor injuries, but are practicing through them for the most part and are also likely considered day to day.

The good news for the Rams is none of the injuries they're currently dealing with appear serious and there's still plenty of time to get their key players back to 100 percent before the regular-season opener on Sept. 7 against Minnesota.