ST. LOUIS — Sam Bradford showed improved zip on the ball during the St. Louis Rams’ fan fest scrimmage at the Edward Jones Dome.
Bradford seems to be reaping the benefits of upper-body training while out with a knee injury.
To keep Bradford’s arm strong, the Rams are monitoring his pitch count much as the St. Louis Cardinals would do for star pitcher Adam Wainwright.
The Rams began tracking Bradford’s throws when coach Jeff Fisher arrived in 2012.
Both said there’s no set limit, but that the information would help gauge progress and performance in training camp.
Bradford said if he’s been throwing a lot for a few days, coaches will back him off. But he said that hadn’t happened yet.
Wide receiver Stedman Bailey was perhaps the most impressive skill position player at the practice at the game field that drew attendance of 15,723.
Bailey is suspended for the first four regular-season games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Manziel back on campus
AKRON, Ohio — Johnny Manziel was back in his element: on campus, in a stadium on a Saturday.
Cleveland’s rookie quarterback, whose electrifying scrambles and how-did-he-do-that passes made him a college football star, showed off some of those dazzling skills as the Browns held a scrimmage at the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium.
Manziel and Brian Hoyer continued their quarterback competition in front of 20,673 fans, who didn’t see much scoring but got a chance to see Johnny Football in the flesh.
Manziel and Hoyer both had good and bad moments, and their battle to be Cleveland’s No. 1 starter remains too close to call.
Browns coach Mike Pettine didn’t want to analyze every pass, but he felt both QBs were efficient in moving their units.
“You saw Johnny, I saw what you guys saw,” Pettine told reporters. “He made a couple nice runs, made some nice throws. Where most quarterbacks would step out of bounds, he got two completions there. And I thought Brian, especially in that first series, converted some third downs and was poised in the pocket. He stepped up and made some throws.”
Manziel worked exclusively with Cleveland’s second-string offense during the unscripted scrimmage, which began earlier than expected and was cut off a little early with threatening weather in the area.
Manziel made a crisp 14-yard completion to fellow rookie Willie Snead to convert on fourth down. Manziel also had an apparent touchdown pass dropped by wide receiver Charles Johnson in the end zone.
Earlier this week, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said the competition remains close and the coaching staff was waiting for one of the QBs to “take off.”
Manziel unofficially finished 3 of 7 for 14 yards and had three runs for 23 yards. Hoyer went 7 of 11 for 56 yards.
Browns Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron suffered a shoulder injury early in the scrimmage. Pettine said Cameron was held out as a precaution.
Also, Pettine said starting free safety Tashaun Gipson is expected to be back at practice next week after suffering a minor knee injury in Friday’s practice.
Tannehill shines in scrimmage
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Quarterback Ryan Tannehill got off to a strong start with two touchdown passes at the Miami Dolphins’ intrasquad scrimmage Saturday.
But the team got a scare when starting tight end Charles Clay left the field early with a leg injury. He did not return.
Running back Lamar Miller, who has had his best training camp so far, caught one of the touchdown passes and also showed off his speed and elusiveness on a few runs.
Eight players observed from the sideline for health reasons. They were wide receivers Mike Wallace, Matt Hazel and Stephen Williams, quarterback Matt Moore, linebacker Jelani Jenkins, defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, center Mike Pouncey and running back Knowshon Moreno.
After taking Sunday off, Miami will return to practice in Davie in preparation for Friday’s preseason opener at the Atlanta Falcons.
Panthers WR back at practice
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin returned to practice after missing five days with a bone bruise in his left knee.
Benjamin, the team’s first-round draft pick, eased back into practice Saturday at Wofford College. He wore a compression sleeve on his left leg but didn’t appear to have any trouble moving and running routes.
Benjamin, 23, had been working with the first team alongside Jerricho Cotchery when he banged his knee against the ground in a practice last Sunday. The knee swelled up the team sent him to have a precautionary MRI on Monday, but the tests revealed no structural damage.
Chiefs’ Cooper goes down
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Marcus Cooper joined the lengthy list of Chiefs defensive backs that were forced to watch practice Saturday after tweaking his hamstring during an early portion of the workout.
Cooper has been starting at one of the cornerback positions throughout camp.
The Chiefs were already missing Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, who hurt his right heel during Thursday’s drill.
Backup safety Sanders Commings is out after having surgery on a severe high ankle sprain and for a fracture to his fibula.