Bradford debut with St. Louis Rams mixed
Sam Bradford took the field to a big ovation. Soon enough, reality sank in for the centerpiece of the St. Louis Rams’ rebuilding effort.
The No. 1 overall pick short-armed a pitch and bobbled a snap the first two plays, looked poised while hitting four of his first five passes, then ended with an extended rough patch in the Minnesota Vikings’ 28-7 preseason-opening victory Saturday night in St. Louis.
“It was fun to get out there, get hit a couple times, get hit, get knocked down, get back up,” Bradford said.
Sage Rosenfels, chasing Tarvaris Jackson for the Vikings’ quarterback job while Brett Favre waffles on his future, finished 23 of 34 for 310 yards and three touchdowns.
Bradford finished 6 of 13 for 57 yards while getting sacked four times.
“I took a couple, landed on the shoulder,” said Bradford, whose final season at Oklahoma was cut short by a shoulder injury. “We’ll see tomorrow how it feels, but right now it feels great.”
Steelers 23, Lions 7: At Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger never got off the bench, and Byron Leftwich probably wishes he had stayed on the sideline, too.
Leftwich, who will replace the suspended Roethlisberger when the season starts, was ineffective, but Pittsburgh still beat Detroit behind backup Dennis Dixon.
Cardinals 19, Texans 16: At Glendale, Ariz., Houston’s Matt Schaub had a short, highly efficient night and teammate Mario Williams didn’t look like someone slowed by a hip injury.
Schaub completed 5 of 6 passes for 78 yards, directing Houston to a field goal and a TD.
Williams sacked Arizona’s Matt Leinart twice. Leinart completed 6 of 7 passes for 49 yards but, in addition to the sacks, misconnected with Tim Hightower on a handoff for a fumble.
Chargers 25, Bears 10: At San Diego, Ryan Mathews had an impressive debut and San Diego got along fine without holdouts Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill in a victory over Chicago. Mathews, the first-round draft pick who will replace LaDainian Tomlinson, gained 50 yards on nine carries.
Dolphins 10, Buccaneers 7: At Miami, Tampa Bay rookie Mike Williams caught a deep pass for a 30-yard gain to set up the only score by either first-team offense, while new Miami receiver Brandon Marshall dropped both passes thrown his way.
Browns 27, Packers 24: At Green Bay, Wis., Cleveland’s Jake Delhomme and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers each led touchdown drives in a game decided on Phil Dawson’s field goal as time expired.
Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart participated only in position drills at Saturday’s workout after finally passing his physical. Stewart has chronic pain in his left Achilles tendon. … Bills running back Fred Jackson will have more tests to determine the severity of a left hand injury that will force the starter to miss at least the remainder of the preseason. … Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither has a small tear in his back that will sideline him for at least two weeks.