X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NFL St Louis Rams

5 St. Louis Rams Starters Who Will Struggle in 2014

5 St. Louis Rams Starters Set To Struggle in 2014

St. Louis Rams
Getty Images

It’s always more fun to carry the torch of optimism rather than being the bearer of bad news, but sometimes a healthy dose of reality is a good thing. Though the expectations will be raised for the St. Louis Rams in year three under Jeff Fisher, there may be some unexpected regression coming in a variety of areas on the roster. Here are five starters who will have their fair share of struggles in the 2014 NFL season.

5. Jake Long, OT

St. Louis Rams
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jake Long, OT

St. Louis Rams
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of a late-season ACL tear, Jake Long’s growing list of injuries will really show in 2014. Just one year removed from signing him to a big free agent deal, the Rams may be looking to get out from under that monster contract next offseason if Greg Robinson shows signs of being able to hold down the left tackle spot. What will become apparent this year is that Long is just a shell of his former Pro Bowl self.

4. Chris Givens, WR

St. Louis Rams
Cary Edmondson-USA Today Sports

4. Chris Givens, WR

St. Louis Rams
Cary Edmondson-USA Today Sports

It seems like it’s only a matter of time before Chris Givens is overtaken on the depth chart and his impressive rookie season from 2012 is a distant memory. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are likely to see increased roles in 2014 while free agent addition Kenny Britt could take reps from him as well. Inconsistency is an easy way to fall out of favor, and Givens has that covered in spades.

3. Trumaine Johnson

St. Louis Rams
Getty Images

3. Trumaine Johnson

St. Louis Rams
Getty Images

After releasing Cortland Finnegan this offseason, the Rams declared their faith in Trumaine Johnson to get the job done on the opposite boundary of Janoris Jenkins. The trouble is Johnson has excelled mostly as a nickel guy rather than an edge corner, so the adjustment could be a real work in progress. For a secondary that was frequently dissected a year ago, that can’t be a comforting idea.

2. Jo-Lonn Dunbar, LB

St. Louis Rams
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. Jo-Lonn Dunbar, LB

St. Louis Rams
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2013 may have just been a taste of the post-PED suspension version of Jo-Lonn Dunbar with the linebacker making little to no impact for the Rams on defense. Sure he only played in 12 games after being suspended for the first four, but a drop from 115 tackles to just 39 suggests maybe the substance he was caught using really was the reason for his stellar season in 2012.

1. Sam Bradford, QB

St. Louis Rams
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Sam Bradford, QB

St. Louis Rams
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Could anyone else reasonably top this list? It’s been a career packed with unfulfilled expectations and disappointment for former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford and his time may be running out in St. Louis. He may have been on pace for his best season ever until a torn ACL ended things, but the injury bug has been the biggest fly in the ointment for him. That combined with his enormous cap number could be his ticket out of town after 2014.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.