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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Typically, a Sam Bradford rehab update in early June is not a major media event.
Blame it on the other Sam on the St. Louis Rams roster. Attention was super-sized Thursday because of rookie defensive end Michael Sam.
“I figured that’s where you guys would be,” Bradford joked after a workout.
Sam, the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL, meets with reporters on Friday. The team is hoping the hubbub will die down eventually and Sam will be treated like any other seventh-round pick.
“I think the media doesn’t give athletes enough credit for just accepting players as they are,” said wide receiver T.J. Moe, who was Sam’s teammate at Missouri. “They just assume it’s a tough-guy culture, and ‘How are they possibly going to handle it?’ I think maybe it’s the other way around. How are the media handling it?”
Bradford, the first overall pick in 2010, is more than five months removed from left knee surgery and said everything is on schedule. The quarterback got a scheduled day off to allow for bounce-back time and is expected to practice Friday.
“To be honest, throughout the process I’ve felt really good and felt better than what I’d anticipated,” Bradford said. “Even when you’re healthy you have good days with your arm and bad days with your arm, and now it’s kind of the same thing with my knee.”
During the rehab, Bradford has added upper-body strength and believes he has a “little more pop” on his throws.
“Moving around great,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “Yeah, he does everything. He’s doing all the drops and the footwork is really good.”
Rumors the Rams might draft Johnny Manziel were easy for Bradford to dismiss. He was kept in the loop by Fisher and general manager Les Snead during the offseason.
“They made it very clear what their plan was,” Bradford said. “They continue to make that clear.”
Neither Bradford nor Fisher believe the quarterback has anything extra to prove this season. The Rams drafted protection for Bradford, taking Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson with the second overall pick, and held onto guard Rodger Saffold. They added veteran wide receiver Kenny Britt to the mix, too, reuniting him with Fisher.
Britt made a couple of nice catches and also was involved in a bit of a scuffle Thursday.
“Right now I’m actually taking this year as a rookie year and building my platform,” Britt said. “Everything starts from scratch.”
Britt had little to say about a sexually explicit video posted to his Instagram account last month.
“That’s something that touches home,” he said. “Me and my wife have to deal with that. We’re going to leave it at that.”
Notes: Fisher anticipates offensive tackle Jake Long, also rehabbing from knee surgery, will be ready to participate in the middle of training camp and was “on pace” to start the opener. Long was hurt at the end of the season and his operation was in January, about two months after Bradford’s procedure.
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