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Kyle Boller to start at quarterback for Rams

Boller will fill in for Marc Bulger, who has an injured shoulder.

October 03, 2009|Associated Press

Kyle Boller will make his first start at quarterback for the St. Louis Rams on Sunday as Marc Bulger rests his injured shoulder.

Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Friday that if Bulger dresses for the game, it will be as the third quarterback. Rookie Keith Null will be the backup.

Bulger did not throw during Friday's practice and is listed as questionable for the game at NFC West rival San Francisco (2-1).

"He took some snaps," Spagnuolo said. "He did some handoffs. We've got 48 more hours for the throwing part of it."

St. Louis (0-3) will try to end a 13-game losing streak, the longest in the NFL.

Bulger suffered a bruised rotator cuff on his right throwing shoulder during last week's 36-17 loss to Green Bay. Boller came in and threw two touchdown passes, but the comeback fizzled in the second half. Overall, he was 16 for 31 for 164 yards and an interception.

Boller is in his first season in St. Louis. He had 42 starts for Baltimore, but Sunday will be his first start since Dec. 16, 2007. He sat out last season because of a shoulder injury.

Parker likely out

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker did not practice for a third consecutive day and is not expected to play against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night.

The Steelers listed Parker as doubtful because of an injured left big toe, but players who do not practice almost never play for them.

Parker is expected to be replaced by Rashard Mendenhall, who was benched by Coach Mike Tomlin in Cincinnati except for special teams because he didn't correctly run plays in practice.

Bradshaw is back

New York Giants halfback Ahmad Bradshaw returned to practice and will probably play in Sunday's game at Kansas City, Coach Tom Coughlin said.

But four other injured players -- defensive lineman Chris Canty, cornerback Aaron Ross, wide receiver Domenik Hixon and running back Danny Ware -- will sit out.

Rookie has H1N1

Houston Texans rookie tight end Anthony Hill was hospitalized this week because of the H1N1 virus in the first confirmed case in an NFL player this season.

Hill is the only player on the team believed to have the virus and other players are being monitored, Texans vice president of communications Tony Wyllie said.

Hill, a fourth-round pick from North Carolina State, spent two nights in the hospital and told KRIV-TV in Houston that he was released from the hospital Friday morning.

Coach Gary Kubiak said that there were a few Texans players who felt ill Thursday, but that they were OK by Friday.

Etc.

Matt Hasselbeck's broken rib still isn't healthy enough, so Seattle Seahawks Coach Jim Mora said his three-time Pro Bowl quarterback is "very doubtful" to return on Sunday. . . . Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour was fined $7,500 by the NFL for unnecessary roughness against Denver tackle Ryan Clady. After a play was over, Seymour pulled Clady by the hair. . . . Seattle defensive end Patrick Kerney was fined $5,000 for roughing the passer when he unnecessarily drove Chicago's Jay Cutler to the ground. . . . San Francisco defensive end Justin Smith was fined $5,000 for hitting Brett Favre in the knee area during Minnesota's 27-24 win Sunday.

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