Sam Bradford isn't walking with a limp. He seems to be moving around as good as ever on the practice field. Nonetheless, the Rams' quarterback told reporters following Saturday's practice at the Edward Jones Dome that his ankle still isn't 100-percent healthy.
"It's close," Bradford said. "I think it's as good as it's going to feel. It's something that we're managing right now. I've been able to take every snap so far without any setbacks and I think that's a positive sign."
Bradford suffered a severe high ankle sprain in Game 5 last season against Green Bay, and it sidelined him for most of the rest of the season.
Is he surprised that the ankle situation has lingered this long?
"Yeah, it is a little bit frustrating that it's somewhat there still," Bradford said. "I thought that with rest in the offseason, it would've been gone by now. But it's not. I've talked about it with Reg (trainer Reggie Scott). I understand what his plan is, and I think we're doing as good as we can right now in managing it."
Fan Fest a success
Players, coaches, fans, and team officials all seemed to enjoy Saturday's practice at the dome, billed as the Rams' first annual Fan Fest.
"I was told that there were almost 13,000 people here," coach Jeff Fisher said. "So we were excited that they came out to see what we're about. And we'll continue to invite them out to training camp, encourage them to come out, and of course we need their support in the preseason."
The turnstile count was 12,753 at the dome, but two turnstiles weren't operating. In addition, there was no head count taken at the Broadway Central entrance. Season-ticket holders kicked field goals and threw footballs around on the floor of the dome prior to practice. And there was a long line of fans early on waiting to take a tour of the Rams' locker room. (As a result of the tour, the Rams dressed in the visitors' locker room Saturday.)
The Rams' new team store opened for business Saturday. Team officials said there was as much merchandise sold Saturday as is the case during an average regular-season game.
The players got a kick out of playing in the dome, especially the rookies and younger players.
"You can see," Fisher said. "They tape up and they put little bands on and things."
Running back Steven Jackson said he preferred holding this practice in the dome. During the previous three training camps, the Rams have scrimmaged at Lindenwood University on this weekend in camp.
"It actually acts as if a dress rehearsal for us for next week, getting ready for Indy and the preseason games," Jackson said. "There's a lot of young guys that were in our venue for the first time, so they can get that out of the way. So when it's time to try to win jobs in the next four to five weeks, they can just really hone in on the game and not think about being in awe of the venue."
The Rams open the preseason Aug. 12 at Indianapolis.
There were several new names added to the injury list. Offensive tackle Rodger Saffold, tight end Lance Kendricks, offensive lineman Ryan McKee, tight end DeAngelo Peterson, and defensive tackle Trevor Laws did not practice Saturday. All were sidelined with leg soreness or tight hamstrings.
"It's legs and we're just being smart," Fisher said. "When you get indoors and the lights go on, they have a tendency to play fast, and we had some bumps and some bruises. We didn't want to subject them to any serious pulls. We hope to have everybody back next week."