Despite a 34-20 home loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, the Rams remain within striking distance of the teams ahead of them in the chase for a wild card playoff spot.
However, next on the schedule is a Monday night home game against the Bears, a game the Rams will prepare for amidst finger-pointing in the locker room by quarterback Marc Bulger and left tackle Todd Steussie.
That raises questions about the frame of mind the team will be in when the game kicks off.
Following the game, one in which the Rams committed 10 penalties for 126 yards and scored only one touchdown in three trips to the red zone, a banged-up Bulger (ribs) said, "There are too many guys in here who think they can show up and play and not prepare all week and just think it will get done. But it doesn't work that way. I'm not perfect. I don't play perfect games. And I admit when I'm wrong. But I care.
"And I know there are some guys in here that don't care. It's obvious. And they can say what they want. You can ask who it is, and I'm not going to point anyone out. But I know someone who cares, it's Steve Jackson. He cares. I'm in the huddle with him. But there's more than one guy in this locker room that could care less that we're losing or thinks its okay to make mistakes. I'm in the huddle. I can tell who has prepared and who hasn't. There's definitely guys that don't care, and that's what bugs me."
While Bulger was talking about offensive players, defensive end Leonard Little was upset Bulger spoke out through the media.
"This is not the time for finger-pointing," Little said. "There's frustration that we're losing, but we have to keep it among ourselves. It's not up to us to let everyone know what's going on inside our house. I don't know who doesn't care. But if he sees it, be a man, be a leader and approach that person and tell him."
But Bulger said things have been said, making it even more frustrating.
"We're professionals," Bulger said. "You can say stuff to some guys, and it goes in one ear and out the other, obviously. Some guys listen and they try, and I don't mind that. But when you get embarrassed by a 2-9 team, and you think it's okay and keep making the same mistakes, it's not okay. Address it, or don't address it. But this is a business, and if you don't address it, you shouldn't be here.
"I could see signs of it the last couple of months. Someone makes a mistake once or twice, you can get over that. You can blame it on youth or whatever. Everyone has excuses. But when you keep doing the same things, and there's a nonchalant attitude, that's what bugs me. And I think it bugs some other guys. We've said stuff to people. Coaches have. But the coaches aren't on the field. Coach [Scott] Linehan has addressed so many issues. He's made a point of it. He can only beat it in so much. It's your job. And when you don't approach football like a job and just think you're on scholarship, that's the problem."
Bulger's comments came after Linehan had addressed the media, so the coach was not available for comment. But he did ask to see a tape of what Bulger said.
Left tackle Todd Steussie supported Bulger, saying, "It's been evident to me all year. I'm not talking about everybody by any means, but I've questioned the level of commitment. There are guys, repeat offenders, that I think their level of dedication is during business hours and business hours only.
"I don't think we have guys out there quitting, but I feel like the preparation level coming into games isn't always where it needs to be for all the guys on our offense. Coaches can push teammates, players can push, but it's up to the individual to do it.
"I think some guys need a reality check on the dedication level that this game takes. Eventually this league weeds out guys like that."