Rams Notebook: Brockers expects to play Sunday

2012-09-29T00:45:00Z 2012-09-29T07:12:58Z Rams Notebook: Brockers expects to play SundayBY KATHLEEN NELSON • knelson@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8233 stltoday.com

First-round draft pick Michael Brockers was limited in practice Friday and officially was listed as questionable. Brockers, though, has no question in his mind whether he'll make his NFL debut Sunday against the Seahawks at the Edward Jones Dome.

"We'll give it a go," said Brockers, a defensive tackle out of LSU. "I will be playing Sunday. The ankle's holding up pretty well, so I expect to play a heavy amount in Sunday's game."

Brockers suffered a high ankle sprain last month in the Rams' final preseason game, returned to practice this week and has lobbied coaches to get him into his first professional game.

Coach Jeff Fisher qualified his assessment of Brockers' status, saying, "He's got a chance."

He added that running back Steven Jackson, "didn't do much. We'll see how Jack is in the warm-ups" Sunday before making a decision on whether his groin had healed from an injury suffered against Washington on Sept. 16.

Jackson was listed as questionable, as was offensive tackle Wayne Hunter (knee), who didn't practice Friday but said he was ready to play Sunday.

"I think so. I'm gonna have to," Hunter said. "We're kind of wearing thin on offensive linemen. I've got to keep going."

Also not practicing Friday were defensive tackle Matthew Conrath, listed as doubtful. and offensive tackle Rodger Saffold (knee) and safety Matthew Daniels (hamstring), both of whom were ruled out of Sunday's game.


Offensive tackle Joe Barksdale will have a crash course in the Rams' playbook, sort of like the whirlwind that brought him to St. Louis for his first practice with the Rams on Friday. Barksdale, Oakland's third-round pick out of LSU in 2011, said he learned late Wednesday that the Raiders had waived him. He didn't fit the zone blocking scheme used by the Raiders' new coaching staff.

"I had my clothes packed but didn't know where I was going," Barksdale said. "Then one of the coaches from the Rams called me, and I was pretty excited."

Barksdale caught the first flight Thursday out of the Bay area, which included a layover in Dallas. Because of delays, though, he spent the night there and arrived in St. Louis at 8 a.m. His luggage sat next to his locker.

"You've got to do what you've got to do. Not everything is going to be convenient," Barksdale said. "I'm happy to have a job and really happy to come to the Rams, especially with the past tackles like Jackie Slater and Orlando Pace, and I'm looking forward to doing some good things."

Fisher said Barksdale had played every position on the offensive line as well as the field-goal protection unit, then coached by Rams special teams coordinator John Fassel.

"He's a run blocker, very athletic," Fisher said. "Smart young man. We're just going to try to get him caught up."


Former coach Mike Martz walked into the facilities at Rams Park on Friday for the first time since he was fired after the 2005 season. This time, he was preparing for his new role as commentator on Fox's broadcast of the Rams-Seahawks game.

"It's, uh, it's different," he said of Rams Park, following his hiatus. "There's a lot of memories that come back as soon as you walk in. It's a great feeling to come into the building because the memories, for the most part, have been very good. It's good to be here."

Martz said that he was excited for Fisher, who coached the Titans in the Super Bowl loss to the Rams when Martz was offensive coordinator, and that he had become a believer in Sam Bradford.

"When he came into the league, I wasn't so sure but what I've seen of him on tape is that he gets rid of the ball so fast and is decisive," Martz said. "I watch quarterbacks' helmets all the time. What he sees with the movement of his helmet and what he can digest and react to is really unusual. The really good ones do what he can do."


The Seahawks have offensive line woes of their own. Guard John Moffitt did not practice all week as was listed as doubtful.

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