Quarterback is considered the most important position in the NFL. If that’s the case, then the Rams lost their most important player for the season yesterday in Carolina. Head Coach Jeff Fisher is expected to announce Monday that Sam Bradford will miss the rest of the year with a torn ACL in his left knee.
With 5:27 to play in the Rams 30-15 loss to the Panthers on Sunday, Bradford was shoved out of bounds by safety Mike Mitchell. Bradford landed awkwardly on his knee, and crashed to the ground in pain. The Rams season could also be crashing down as well. Where do the Rams go from here knowing that their starting quarterback is gone for the season?
Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens came in for Bradford, and mustered only 19 yards on 2 of 4 passing while getting sacked twice. Media reports have the Rams showing mild interest in free agent QB Tim Tebow. Bradford was putting together his best season as a Ram. Bradford threw for 1,687 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Rams appeared to be gaining traction before Sunday’s loss to the Panthers. Wins over Jacksonville and Houston got the Rams going before dropping a physical and chippy game in Carolina. The Rams offense has struggled this season, even with Bradford at the helm. What looked to be an improved and powerful offense, filled with hype during the preseason, is ranked ahead of just Tampa and Jacksonville in the NFL in total offense.
The Rams and Bradford have also discussed a long term deal, that would keep the 4th year pro as the team’s franchise quarterback. Could that plan be put on hold, and will the Rams consider other options at quarterback should Bradford experience a slow recovery from his injury? The Rams have 2 first round draft picks next spring. Will the team consider drafting a quarterback from a fairly deep pool, despite their immediate needs for size on defense at safety and cornerback?
These are questions for the future, but for now, the Rams will have to find a way to salvage a season which could spiral downhill quickly. Things won’t get any easier with the Seattle Seahawks invading the Dome on Monday night. The Rams have already remade their running game this season, thanks to the production of rookie back Zac Stacy. Now the Rams must remake their offense, and somehow finish their season respectably without Sam Bradford.