ST. LOUIS — Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers, the team's first-round draft pick, could make his debut this week after recovering from a high right ankle sprain.
Brockers was limited in practice Wednesday, but both the player and coach Jeff Fisher are optimistic about playing Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Brockers would be a week ahead of schedule after getting sidelined in the preseason finale with an injury that typically sidelines players for a month.
Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said it would be "huge, literally and figuratively," to get the 322-pound Brockers into the lineup.
"He's a hungry player, he's a young kid, he just loves to get after it," Laurinaitis said. "And when you have a D-lineman like that, when you add one more big guy to the rotation, it's going to keep those guys even more fresh."
Brockers thought there was a "pretty good chance" he'd play after his ankle held up during individual drills. He also cleared several hurdles at a workout Sunday prior to the Rams' loss at Chicago.
"I'm real anxious to get this thing started and help the defense out," Brockers said. "I feel like this high ankle sprain has some more weeks to go, but I feel like I'm able to hold off players and be able to make some plays. I feel pretty good."
Brockers said the ankle might get a "little pinched sometimes," but thought adrenaline would help him play through any problems.
Jermelle Cudjo started the first three games at right tackle and has two solo tackles and five assists.
The 21-year-old Brockers was the 14th overall pick after two seasons at LSU and is the youngest player on the roster. While rehabbing, he retained his upper-body strength with weight training.
Before the injury, Fisher said Brockers had been impressive.
"He was really coming on," Fisher said. "He's been studying. He knows exactly what to do. He's maintained his upper-body shape. He should be in good shape when he returns."