The St. Louis Rams' Pretend Week 2 preseason game vs. the Kansas City Chiefs is interesting for a number of reasons—there's the usual interstate rivalry, the return of Chiefs star Jamaal Charles, Jeff Fisher's second game in charge of the Rams' spiraling reputation—but the most interesting question, after a full week of speculation, is just how healthy Sam Bradford's injured ankle is after a half-season of recovery time.
To recap, this is where things stand—
- Sam Bradford's ankle injury is supposedly not at 100 percent despite an offseason to heal.
- At some point a rumor broke that he might need offseason surgery to repair the high ankle sprain.
- Whereupon Bradford denied it, but failed to really deny it, only increasing speculation.
It's easy to understand how tired Bradford must be of talking about it, but his failure to deny it in a satisfying way has combined with the Rams' offensive line's inability to protect him in Week 1 any better than they did last year to make Rams fans more than a little gunshy about their erstwhile franchise savior's health going into his crucial third season.
Bradford's struggled enough to match up with fans' expectations when he's healthy; if he's hobbling around behind the imperfect wall anchored by Jason Smith and Rodger Saffold, this could be a long, long season at the Edward Jones Dome. His performance against the Chiefs will be dissected for exactly that reason.