Sam Bradford could start next game

ST. LOUIS -- Sam Bradford could take over as the St. Louis Rams' starting quarterback in the next preseason game, although the promotion would be by default.

A.J. Feeley injured his thumb and elbow in the first quarter when he hit a defensive player's helmet on the follow through of a throw in a 19-17 victory at Cleveland on Saturday night, and was scheduled to undergo an MRI exam. The Rams have a short week, playing again Thursday night at New England.

"Obviously, this goes without saying, if Feeley can't work during the week, Sam would be the guy," coach Steve Spagnuolo said Sunday. "We'll have to see where A.J. is. It's hard to tell."

Spagnuolo said Feeley had a "tingling sensation" up his arm after the throw. X-rays on the elbow were negative.

Bradford, the No. 1 pick in the draft, was the backup the first two preaseason games for a team that went 1-15 last season. He didn't have a scintillating game against the Browns, going 6 for 14 for only 24 yards in a game played in driving rain.

"I think I've played one game like this, maybe," Bradford said "You have to realize that you probably can't make all the throws that you usually can, especially for someone who throws down the field."

Spagnuolo judged Bradford's play as "a little bit up and down," while noting a few dropped passes didn't help his statistics. He also faulted the rookie for being too careful with the center snap at times, just as in the preseason opener.

At Oklahoma, Bradford took the vast majority of his snaps from the shotgun formation.

"We really preach to the quarterbacks, especially Sam, to make sure you get the snap," Spagnuolo said. "Sometimes when you do that you're overly conscious about getting the ball.

"Sam will be fine, he'll bounce back."

Bradford said he was being careful because the ball was wet.

"Considering the circumstances, it was a positive that we didn't have any balls on the ground," Bradford added.

Feeley was 5 for 6 for 45 yards and threw a touchdown after he was hurt.

"I tried to battle through it and luckily enough, we got in the end zone pretty quick," he said. "I figured if I could get a little more time, the pain would go away."

The Rams (1-1) allowed no sacks, a week after surrendering six in a 28-7 loss to the Vikings. The offensive line was intact after guard Jacob Bell returned from an injury and had a lot more success particularly in zone blocking schemes.

"Pass protection was great," Bradford said. "I think I only got hit one time and they actually brought a blitz we couldn't pick up at that time."

Spagnuolo wasn't happy that the offense produced only six points out of five turnovers, and said the Rams needed red zone work on both sides of the ball.

He wasn't happy with the tackling, either.

"It's not all pretty, but we'll take the win," Spagnuolo said. "I think the guys should feel good about that."