NFL Preseason: Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams Look To Decide Starter Battle Against Marc Bulger, Baltimore Ravens

(Sports Network) - Rookie Sam Bradford can make a final case for St. Louis Rams starting quarterback duties on Thursday night at the Edward Jones Dome, as the No. 1 pick and his team try to prevent the Baltimore Ravens from polishing off a perfect preseason.

Bradford, subbing for the injured A.J. Feeley last week against New England, put together the sharpest performance of his young Rams career. The ex-Oklahoma star and Heisman winner was 15-of-22 for 189 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions against the Pats, and another such outing could cement his status as the Week 1 starter.

Feeley will not play on Thursday due to lingering thumb and elbow injuries.

Though running back Steven Jackson seems unlikely to grace the lineup against the Ravens for precautionary reasons, head coach Steve Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur might have greater urgency to judge the team's starting wide receiver options.

No. 1 wideout Donnie Avery was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered against the Patriots last week, meaning the team is looking for a starting receiver to couple with Laurent Robinson. Holdovers Danny AmendolaKeenan Burton and rookie Mardy Gilyard are all candidates for the position.

The Ravens, meanwhile, enter Week 4 of the preseason as one of two undefeated teams along with the 49ers, and with a win will finish unbeaten in the warm-up period for the second straight year. Baltimore's August consisted of victories over the Panthers (17-12), Redskins (23-3) and Giants (24-10), and John Harbaugh's squad will be seeking to carry their winning ways well into September.

Baltimore is unlikely to feature many of its principles on Thursday, especially after losing wideouts Donte' Stallworth (foot) and Mark Clayton (concussion) in last week's win over the Giants. Stallworth could miss two months, while a timetable for Clayton's return has not been set.

Backup QB and ex-Ram Marc Bulger should see some time in his former home stadium, while Troy Smith is slated for action as well.

Following Thursday's games, all 32 NFL teams will have until 6pm ET on Saturday evening to trim their rosters to the 53-player maximum.

The Ravens last lost a preseason game on Aug. 28, 2008 against the Falcons, and their last road loss during the tune-up period came at St. Louis on Aug. 23rd of that year. That matchup, a 24-10 St. Louis win ranks as the only previous warm-up meeting between the Rams and Ravens.

The Rams open the 2010 regular season against the Arizona Cardinals on Sun., Sept. 12th, while the Ravens open their slate at the New York Jets the next night.

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