Quarterbacks Suffer Misfortunes of Preseason Life on the Job
Rams’ Bradford Hurts Knee Again, Is Done
Referee Brad Allen (122) stands next to injured St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford in the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, in Cleveland. Bradford left the game and was taken to the locker room after the play. St. Louis won 33-14. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Mike Welsch begins his attempt to swim the length of Lake Sunapee in Georges Mills, N.H.,on Aug. 21, 2014.
Valley News- Rob Strong
The optimism of Saturday night turned into a Sunday afternoon nightmare for the St. Louis Rams. Coach Jeff Fisher confirmed that quarterback Sam Bradford suffered new damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, needs additional surgery and is done for the season.
“Unfortunately, I can confirm that we have lost Sam for the year,” Fisher said. “Sam suffered an injury to the reconstructed knee that he had done less than a year ago.
“I’m very, very disappointed for Sam. We’ve got two issues here: We lost our staring quarterback. But for Sam personally, the news was devastating to him this morning.”
Bradford was injured in the first quarter of Saturday night’s 33-14 preseason victory over Cleveland when hit by Browns defensive end Amonty Bryant after releasing a pass to Jared Cook.
Bradford walked off the field under his own power, and by all accounts was in good spirits in the locker room. Although he prefaced his remarks by saying he didn’t want to speculate, Fisher said during his postgame press conference that the injury might merely be a hyper-extension of the knee, in which case Bradford might be ready in a week or two.
That turned out not to be the case Sunday when an MRI showed additional damage to the ACL in Bradford’s left knee, the same knee that needed surgery for a torn ACL Oct. 20 at Carolina.
Without Bradford, veteran Shaun Hill becomes the starter for the Sept. 7 season opener against Minnesota. Hill has thrown only 16 regular-season passes in the past three seasons while playing for Detroit.
The Rams also have Austin Davis and rookie Garrett Gilbert on the roster at quarterback, but undoubtedly will be combing the waiver wires for veteran QB help, or possibly exploring a trade.
On a Saturday night in which the Rams lost five starters in the first half, Fisher said starting cornerback Trumaine Johnson will miss four to six weeks with a knee injury. It’s an injury to the medial collateral ligament; such injuries do not require surgery.
But there was better news on offensive tackle Rodger Saffold and defensive tackles Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford. All suffered ankle injuries, but Fisher said it’s possible all three could play in the Rams’ preseason finale Thursday in Miami.
The Rams do have a surplus at defensive line, especially defensive end, which could be used in a trade for veteran help. But Fisher indicated Sunday that the Rams would not jump into finding help at quarterback, and said reports that the Rams were working the phones to that end Sunday were incorrect.
“Shaun is our guy,” Fisher said.
Then hearkening back to Dick Vermeil after the 1999 injury to Trent Green and replacement Kurt Warner, Fisher said: “We will rally around Shaun Hill.”