Rams move forward without Bradford
ST. LOUIS - Sam Bradford was drafted by the St. Louis Rams with the first overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft. The former Heisman Trophy winning University of Oklahoma quarterback then proceeded to win the 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, and lead the Rams to within a win of a playoff berth.
Oh, how the tables have turned.
In week seven last season against Carolina, Bradford tore his ACL. This was the second time the Rams' QB had missed significant time in his career (He missed six games in 2011 due to a variety of injuries including a high ankle sprain).
Bradford had surgery on his injured ACL in the offseason, and saw his first in-game action of 2014 against the Green Bay Packers in week two of the NFL preseason. However, the following week against Cleveland, Bradford would feel the sting of a season cut short once again. This time, before it had even begun.
Bradford went down in the first quarter against the Browns on a hit by defensive lineman Armonty Bryant. The hit from Bryant had re-torn Bradford's surgically repared ACL, and ended his 2014 season.
Rams' linebacker James Laurinaitis showed his sympathy for Bradford on Twitter.
My heart hurts for my friend Sam. The way he worked, the leadership he showed and his spirit was amazing this whole offseason. Hate this.— James Laurinaitis (@JLaurinaitis55) August 24, 2014
So, who's up next for the Rams?
According to head coach Jeff Fisher, current backup Shaun Hill will get his shot. Hill is a 13-year NFL verteran who was most recently with the Detroit Lions. He has compiled a 13-13 record in his 26 career starts with Detroit, Minnesota and San Francisco.
As for the Rams' locker room, it's a next man up mentality according to defensive end Chris Long.
This is a TEAM. Next man up. I believe in this locker room and what we have and can't wait to show it week 1!!!!!— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) August 24, 2014
Hill will have a considerable number of weapons at his disposal.
The recieving core will be anchored by newcomer Kenny Britt, the speedy Tavon Austin and tight end Jared Cook. Second-year reciever Stedman Bailey also figures to contribute after he serves his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Running back Zac Stacy burst onto the scene last season, and will be the main man taking handoffs from Hill. Former Auburn Tiger Tre Mason should also see considerable playing time.
On the offensive side of the ball, fans should not be expecting numbers that rival "The Greatest Show on Turf", but if Hill plays consistent and uses his weapons, the Rams' defense should be able to keep them in games.
And who knows? Maybe Shaun Hill can take a page out of Kurt Warner's playbook and elevate this Rams team to even greater heights.