Bulger on track to return to starting role for Rams

ST. LOUIS -- Unlike last week, the St. Louis Rams are going to take it slow on the status of quarterback Marc Bulger.

The Rams' starting quarterback took all the repetitions in practice on Wednesday and is on track to return after missing two games with a concussion. But coach Scott Linehan will wait until Friday, after two more days of practice and no symptoms, before selecting Bulger as the starter for Sunday's home game against the Green Packers.

"I thought he looked fine," Linehan said. "More importantly, it's how he gets through the week."

Linehan prefers cautious optimism after last week's experience, when Bulger received medical clearance on Tuesday and practiced for two days before concussion symptoms returned and he ended up sitting out a 19-10 loss at Cincinnati.

Bulger has no problem with that. He didn't want to compare how he felt on Wednesday to how he felt a week ago.

"I'd hate to sit here and play a percentage game or guess whether I'm going to play or not," Bulger said. "I felt good today and I'm just going to wait until Friday."

Last week the Rams were also without backup Gus Frerotte, who has a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. That forced the Rams to elevate Brock Berlin from the practice squad to make his NFL debut.

The Rams' only touchdown at Cincinnati came on an interception return by Fakhir Brown.

This week the position appears to be in better shape. Frerotte threw some passes in practices on Wednesday, although Berlin handled repetitions for the scout team.

"He looked to be close to himself," Linehan said of Frerotte. "We'll see how he feels after throwing. He put in some pretty good work."

Center Brett Romberg, also on track to return after missing five of the past six games with a high right ankle sprain, doesn't think the Rams will need Frerotte.

"Marc looked like a totally different person today," Romberg said. "I think you should see him on Sunday."

Bulger, who missed two other games earlier in the season with broken ribs, said he's had no thought of sitting out the rest of the year. The Rams may be 3-10, but Bulger is excited about playing against Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers, then facing his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers next Thursday.

"For selfish reasons I want to get back out there," Bulger said. "Everyone is in here fighting and I wouldn't want to shut it down just for the sake of shutting it down, unless it made sense to do it and I thought my health was going to be in jeopardy."

Bulger said there was no particular overriding reason for not playing last week, mentioning fatigue and a general feeling that it was best to give the concussion more time. Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, the former Rams two-time NFL MVP, was one of the players he consulted.

"I didn't think I was going to play anyway because I didn't talk to him until Friday," Bulger said. "You kind of wonder about it because you really have never felt it before and it's kind of hard to explain to everyone.

"The more people I can talk to who have had it, the better."

Notes: Wide receiver-return man Brandon Williams (ankle) was the only player held out of practice on Wednesday. Safety O.J. Atogwe (groin) and backup offensive tackle Rob Pettiti (concussion) were limited.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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