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DT Brockers feeling good after ankle injury, ready to play again for Rams

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ST. LOUIS - Michael Brockers doesn't know all the technical jargon for what kept him out of much of training camp. He just knows he's ready to go.

The third-year defensive tackle suffered a high right ankle sprain in early August just prior to the St. Louis Rams first scrimmage Aug. 2. He missed the team's first two preseason games and didn't get much practice in until Tuesday.

He has shown few signs of the injury bothering him and expects to play Saturday when St. Louis travels to Cleveland for its third preseason game.

"Oh yeah, for sure I'm going to play against Cleveland," Brockers said. "Maybe get all the first quarter reps maybe, and try to show what I can do and show that I can push off this ankle and put as much pressure as I can on it and be as dominant as I want to be."

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said after Thursday's practice that Brockers likely will get more work because of the team's depth at the position.

Brockers and Kendall Langford are listed as starters. Aaron Donald, the 13th-overall pick in the 2014 draft, is slotted as the No. 2 right tackle behind Brockers. The Rams also have three-year veteran Matt Conrath and rookie Deantre Harlan listed after Donald.

Alex Carrington, who was signed as a free agent during the off-season, is second string left tackle.

"Our goal is to get everybody to play close to a half, but there may be some individual situations where guys don't play all the way to halftime," Fisher said. "If he's playing 15-20 plays with rotation, he's clearly playing until halftime."

Brockers has experience with a high ankle sprain. The 14th-overall pick out of LSU in the 2012 draft, he missed his first three games as a pro with the injury. It was the same ankle he tweaked this month but it wasn't the same severity.

"I think they call it a good high ankle sprain because it was in the back," he said. "It wasn't really in the front or as high or whatever. I don't really know.

"I know, after the high one, I couldn't walk for about two weeks. I'm back on the field after two weeks, so for the most part I'm doing good."

Brockers finished his rookie season with 20 tackles and four sacks. He followed that with 38 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks in 2013 on a defensive line that was one of the best in the league. The Rams had the third-most sacks a year ago with 53.

He said a 20-pound weight loss should also help improve his numbers. He came into the league at 320 pounds and topped out at about 327 a year ago.

During the summer and training camp, he's chipped away with a new diet and new personal chef to move down to 307. He said his percentage of fat is down, though he's not certain how much, and he simply feels better than he has since entering the league.

He said the coaching staff made sure to point out his extra pounds going into the off-season, though it wasn't necessary. He felt heavy and sluggish all of last year and struggled finishing longer drives.

"I feel like I can keep going. Last year at this point, I was like 'Oh, man, I'm tired. I don't know why I'm so tired.' Now, I can keep going," he said. "I think that's the biggest part of me losing weight is me being able to keep going on those eight-play drives and those nine-play drives."

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