ST. LOUIS — A.J. Feeley's thumb injury put No. 1 draft pick Sam Bradford on the fast track.
The rookie from Oklahoma gets his first start with the Rams this week by default, and with two preseason games to go, he has a chance to seize the position that everybody knows will be his eventually.
"There's no doubt in my mind that he will lead this team," safety Oshiomoghe Atogwe said. "He has to play, and he has to get a feel and make this offense his own offense, and that takes time.
"Whenever that does happen, it's full speed ahead."
The Rams have only two practices before playing Thursday at New England. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Feeley (sprained right thumb, elbow soreness) wouldn't practice this week.
BEARS: Veteran quarterback Todd Collins, 38, signed as a backup.
BROWNS: The team will inaugurate a ring of honor, starting with the 16 Cleveland greats enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Canton, about 60 miles south. The seven living honorees and their families have been invited to the unveiling, scheduled for the home opener, Sept. 19 against Kansas City. But Cleveland's Plain Dealer reported that legendary running back Jim Brown won't make it because of scheduling conflicts.
COWBOYS: Safety Gerald Sensabaugh and inside linebacker Keith Brooking likely will miss the final two preseason games with shoulder injuries sustained Saturday against San Diego.
GIANTS: Quarterback Eli Manning returned to practice after sitting out with a gash in his forehead and plans to play Saturday at Baltimore. … Cornerback Aaron Ross (inflamed right foot) likely will miss at least one game.
JETS: All-Pro Nick Mangold moved closer to a deal that should make him the league's highest-paid center, topping the five-year, $37.5 million contract the Rams' Jason Brown received last year. … Defensive end Ropati Pitoitua (torn left Achilles' tendon) is out for the season.
REDSKINS: Coach Mike Shanahan met with Albert Haynesworth and kept the conversation to himself, saying it's "completely ridiculous" to keep talking about their situation publicly. The coach gave no response to the disgruntled nose tackle's strong words after Saturday's loss to Baltimore. Haynesworth accused the coach of mischaracterizing the reason he missed practice last week. … Free safety Kareem Moore (sprained right knee) had arthroscopic surgery and likely will miss 4-6 weeks.
SAINTS: Running back P.J. Hill (partial triceps tear) was waived and is expected to be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
TEXANS: Oct. 7 was set as the trail date in New York for quarterback Chris Simms, a former Buc arrested July 1 and accused of smoking marijuana in his car.
TRADE: The Falcons sent guard Quinn Ojinnaka, who is suspended without pay for the opener for violating league personal conduct policy, to the Patriots for an undisclosed draft pick.