Can Sam Bradford endure the pain?
Sam Bradford (AP/Jeff Roberson)
Sam Bradford (AP/Jeff Roberson)

Posted Aug 15, 2010
Michael R. Martinez

The Rams rookie quarterback made his long-awaited debut Saturday night but was sacked four times and took a pounding. It probably didn't make his coach feel too comfortable.

Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford is going to get his chance to start for the St. Louis Rams this season, but you’ve got to wonder if it’s a decision coach Steve Spagnuolo will eventually regret. On Saturday, Spagnuolo got his first indication of what his $78-million star is likely to endure.

The Rams better have a stockroom full of flak jacket ready.

Bradford was sacked four times and hit at least three other times in the Rams’ 28-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Is this what the season is going to look like? Probably.

“We had some issues up front,” Spagnuolo said. “A couple were missed offensive line calls. A couple, we just got beat. We can solve it.”

If they don’t, Bradford and his golden arm might not make it through September. Remember, this is the guy who missed virtually all of his final season at Oklahoma after undergoing shoulder surgery. He didn’t start Saturday’s game, but in all likelihood he’ll be St. Louis’ starter when the regular season opens.

Bradford didn’t get the start (veteran A.J. Feeley did), but he entered the game early in the second quarter to a reported standing ovation in St. Louis. Bradford played 21 snaps and completed 6 of 13 passes for 57 yards. But he had to work for everything he got.

”It was fund to get out there, get hit a couple times, get knocked down, get back up,” Bradford said. “Just getting back into the flow of a football game was fun.”

Fun for him, but probably not for Spagnuolo. This is only one game; there are 19 more to go.

Bradford came out of the contest unscathed. Chances are, he was hurting all over the morning after.

“Itook a couple (of hits), landed on the shoulder,” he said said. “It's not sore at all. We'll see tomorrow how it feels, but right now it feels great.”

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