Sam Bradford hasn't missed one minute of practice time in camp. He came through the preseason opener unscathed, and has been moving around well in practice. He's not wearing a brace on his left ankle, nor is he walking with a limp.
Nonetheless, the ankle questions won't go away.
After the Rams' practice/scrimmage Aug. 4 at the Edward Jones Dome, Bradford raised eyebrows by saying the ankle wasn't 100-percent healthy and would have to be managed — or treated — as the camp and the season progressed. With the after-effects of last season's severe high-ankle sprain still lingering, Bradford was asked Thursday if he could need ankle surgery at the end of this season if he experienced further problems.
"That would be news to me," Bradford said. "To be honest, I'm tired of talking about the ankle. Until it causes me to miss reps or miss time, it's a non-issue."
Bradford missed six games last season and was at less than full strength in several others after suffering the injury in the Rams' Oct. 16 game at Green Bay. Bradford has said on more than one occasion after the season that he doesn't regret continuing to try to play with the injury. He has also said on more than one occasion that he didn't expect the injury to take so long to heal.
But as coach Jeff Fisher pointed out, "A high-ankle mechanism is serious stuff. There was a lot of separation in there last year. He tried to play through on it and he couldn't."
Fisher said sometimes it can take a full year for such an injury to fully heal.
"You have options," Fisher said. "You can go in and fix it (surgically) and you're talking about four to six months. Or you can just rehab it, which he did. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer. But he's really not having any issues. He's doing fine."
Even so, there is a level of concern at Rams Park about how the ankle will hold up over the rigors of a season, which makes good pass-blocking all the more important for the Rams.
Rookie cornerback Trumaine Johnson returned to full participation in practice Thursday after missing a couple of days with a minor back injury. Johnson, a third-round draft pick from Montana, said he will play Saturday against Kansas City.
Wide receiver Brandon Gibson (hamstring), safety Darian Stewart (hamstring), and center Scott Wells (knee) all took part in individual drills in practice.
When asked how much longer Wells would be sidelined, Fisher replied, "I don't imagine it lasting any longer than this weekend."
Meanwhile, wide receiver Danario Alexander (hamstring), defensive tackle Trevor Laws (knee), and cornerback Bradley Fletcher (rib) continue to be sidelined.
The Rams will have a walk-through today at the Edward Jones Dome. It's closed to the public.
The starting time of the preseason finale Aug. 30 against Baltimore at the Edward Jones Dome has been pushed up one hour to 6 p.m.
Heavy rains forced the Rams to work indoors Thursday, the first time the team has used its indoor facility for a full practice under Fisher.
Shannon Eastin, the female replacement official, will be an alternate for Saturday's game against the Chiefs.