ST. LOUIS -- Brett Favre wasn't at practice Thursday. Sam Bradford was.
But if you weren't looking, you would've missed Bradford because he was bundled up on the brisk, windy day at Rams Park. The sight of Bradford on the practice field just four days after suffering a season-ending knee injury against Carolina struck a chord with his teammates.
"It was good for a lot of people to see Sam outside, especially the young guys," right tackle Rodger Saffold said. "I'm telling you, nobody with the injury that he has is going to be outside walking around through practice."
Bradford will have surgery next month for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
"He's sitting over there watching practice and helping people out," Saffold said. "That just lets you know what type of guy he is. Anybody else would've not been in here. Wouldn't have seen anything. Probably wouldn't be in meetings. He's there working on sharpening his own skills mentally, too. That's huge."
For many players, once they hit the injured reserve list, they scarcely are seen the rest of the year at the team facilities.
As for Favre, some players, once retired, keep finding ways to un-retire. But in the case of the Rams' flirtation with Favre, he seems intent on staying retired.
The news from ESPN that the Rams reached out to Favre -- more precisely, Favre's agent -- about the possibility of joining the team spread like a brushfire Thursday morning and afternoon. But in the end there wasn't a whole lot to it.
Favre has the same agent as Austin Davis -- Bus Cook. And in the process of signing Davis, the Rams did bring up Favre's name in passing, league sources told the Post-Dispatch. However, they didn't actively pursue Favre.
Like Favre, Davis attended the University of Southern Mississippi. In fact, Davis broke most of Favre's school records before signing with the Rams in 2012 as an undrafted rookie.
In any event, Favre's name was brought up in conversations with Cook about re-signing Davis, but it was several steps short of being a full-court press.
Interestingly, no one around Rams Park issued a denial about the team pursuing Favre. Then again, no one commented on it, either. When asked about the team's interest in Favre after practice Thursday, coach Jeff Fisher issued what amounted to an elaborate no comment.
"During the process, I didn't disclose any information," Fisher said. "And I feel no need to disclose information after the process. That's how we are. But I'll be happy to talk about (Tyler) Thigpen, who we worked out; who we disclosed. And the two (quarterbacks) that we signed. OK? It's consistent with our philosophy and our policy."
When told that that didn't sound like a denial, Fisher replied: "I don't talk about the process."
After a pause, he added, "You want to talk about the Seahawks?
The next question at Fisher's post-practice media session: "Would Brett have been ready for the Seahawks?"
Fisher laughed and replied: "Nice try."
At face value, even reaching out to Favre has the appearance of a desperation move, and a move that doesn't make any sense. Despite all of Favre's accomplishments as a player, he definitely looked like someone ready to retire in 2010 -- his last season in the NFL.
Three years later, at age 44, his skills undoubtedly have eroded. How many weeks would it have taken for Favre to be ready to play? And with an already tight cap situation, where would the Rams have come up with the several million dollars needed to get Favre off his farm and back on the field?
"It's flattering, but you know there's no way I'm going to do that," said Favre, who's a grandfather. "I'm like a yardstick I'm so stiff."
Favre made the comments on Washington radio station WSPZ.
So on Thursday, and into the future, the Rams will be getting by with a quarterback trio of Kellen Clemens, Davis and Brady Quinn. Quinn was added to the roster along with Davis following Bradford's injury.
"We were fortunate he was here (in St. Louis), and he stayed in shape and has been working out," Fisher said in reference to Davis, the likely No. 2 QB against Seattle. "It just makes it that much easier when you've got a guy in that spot that knows what he's doing. It makes it much easier for the play-caller."
Should something happen to Clemens, the starter for Monday's game with Seattle, Davis should be able to come in and at least execute the offense. As for Clemens, he seemed relaxed and loose speaking with reporters Thursday -- in the same spot of the locker room where Bradford held his midweek media sessions.
When asked how long it will take him to adjust to getting all the practice reps with the starting unit, Clemens joked: "Should take us about three practices. I feel pretty good."
The last time Clemens was thrust into this sort of situation, late in the 2011 season, he was on the Rams' roster for only a handful of practices before getting thrown into the starting lineup.
"This is a little bit more comfortable for me right now than it was last time," Clemens said. "I'm not going to be staying up too late at night trying to figure out what the play call is. I hope we don't break the huddle Monday night and I don't know where anybody's going. That happened a few times the last time I was playing. So, we should be in a better situation."
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