EARTH CITY — Rams quarterback Marc Bulger took the first step Sunday toward returning to the playing field.
Bulger, out since Aug. 17 after fracturing the pinky on his throwing hand, threw 21 passes in a side session at the morning practice. Coach Steve Spagnuolo didn't watch the session, but said offensive coordinator Dick Curl was pleased with the performance.
"The plan is to see what it feels like tomorrow morning, after having had the 21 throws," Spagnuolo said. "Then go from there."
Spagnuolo also was noncommittal regarding Bulger's status for the final preseason game Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs. He has already missed the past two games.
"It all depends on where he is," Spagnuolo said. "You'd like to build for Thursday, but if he's not ready to we're not going to."
Bulger, who only speaks to the media on Wednesdays, didn't take any snaps during Sunday's session and is on target to start the opening game on Sept. 13 at Seattle. He fractured his pinky after taking a snap from center Jason Brown. X-rays were negative for a break and the injury didn't require Bulger to wear a cast.
"He said it felt OK, but that's all we had planned on doing just to see where he was," Spagnuolo said.
Kyle Boller started Thursday against Cincinnati and completed 14 of 20 passes for 96 yards. He completed 23 of 36 attempts for 187 yards in the two preseason games since Bulger was injured. He has yet to throw for a touchdown, but has no interceptions.
Boller joined the Rams as a free agent before the start of the year after spending his first five years in the league with Baltimore.
Bulger threw for 2,727 yards and 11 touchdowns last year. But he had 13 passes intercepted and was sacked 37 times.