EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Although the final decision will fall in the hands of St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher, defensive tackle Michael Brockers leaves little doubt about what he's expecting Saturday night against the Cleveland Browns.
After suffering a sprained right ankle early in camp, Brockers not only has designs on playing in his first 2014 preseason game, but he also has an idea of how long he'd like to participate.
"Oh yeah, for sure I’m going to play versus Cleveland," Brockers said. "Maybe get all the first quarter reps and try to show what I can do and show I can push off this ankle, put as much pressure as I can on it and be as dominant as I want to be."
Brockers first suffered the injury before the team's annual scrimmage on Aug. 2. But ankle issues have been a nuisance for him since he arrived as a first-round pick in 2012. In his rookie season, Brockers suffered a high ankle sprain late in the preseason that cost him the first three games of the year. At other times, including in the spring, Brockers has had a few minor ankle tweaks that have cost him much lesser chunks of time.
This time, Brockers' injury was again to the right ankle, but he said Wednesday the type of sprain was much different and far less severe.
"I think they called it a “good high ankle sprain’ because it was in the back, it wasn’t really in the front and not as high or whatever," Brockers said. "I don’t really know. I know after the high one, I couldn’t walk for about two weeks, and I’m back on the field after two weeks so for the most part I’m doing good."
Brockers is indeed doing well as he recovers from the injury. He began doing some running and work on the side last week, and this week, he has jumped back into practice at full speed. He's taken part in all of practice, including team drills, each of the past two days and has showed no lingering effects from the injury.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see Brockers play against Cleveland considering how much he's participated this week. But the Rams have been cautious with pushing their key injured players back to the field too soon.
"When you’re injured, and you’re watching your guys out here pushing through some of those hot days, you’re like man, if I was in there the reps would have been even," Brockers said. "Somebody has to take your reps, you kind of hurt deep down inside, but you know you can’t go out there and possibly re-injure whatever was wrong with you. It’s good to finally be out here. It feels good, ankle feels good. A couple of tweaks here and there, but for the most part, I feel like I’m about 100 percent."