After undergoing an MRI, it’s been revealed that St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has, in fact, re-tore the ACL in his left knee. The Rams will announce the injury later on today.
Bradford, who missed nine games last season with a torn ACL, was the expected starter for the Rams going into their Week 1 regular season matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Veteran quarterback Shaun Hill will now have a couple of weeks, including a Week 4 preseason game, to prepare himself to assume Bradford’s role.
Many expected that 2014 was going to be the year that Bradford finally broke out. Before tearing his ACL the first time, Bradford was in the midst of his best NFL season through seven games of the 2013 season. He had passed for nearly 1,700 yards and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 14-to-4.
Despite these promising numbers, it may now be time for the Rams to move on from Bradford following a second ACL injury in less than a year. Bradford is entering his fifth season with the Rams after being the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, but has yet to lead the Rams to the playoffs.
While the Rams do offer a capable backup in Hill, chances are that the team will once again fail to qualify for the playoffs this season. It was already going to be an uphill battle this season, given that the Rams play in the tough NFC West. The Rams may now be on the cusp of an extremely mediocre season following an injury to their starting quarterback.
With Bradford out, the Rams could very easily finish with a weak enough record to qualify for a top-ten, possibly even a top-five, pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Quarterback prospects such as Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Bryce Petty and possibly Jameis Winston are expected to be available in next year’s draft, making it an opportune time for the Rams to move on from Bradford.
Only time will tell if Bradford has played his last snap as the starting quarterback for the Rams, but it sure seems like there will be a new guy under center in St. Louis next season.