St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has been ruled out for the entire 2014 NFL season due to a torn ACL.
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is out for the entire 2014 NFL season with a torn ACL.
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According to Myles Simmons of the Rams' official website, Bradford tore his ACL during the preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on Aug. 23:
"The Rams received unfortunate news on Sunday, as head coach Jeff Fisher announced quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a torn ACL in his left knee ruding Saturday's game in Cleveland. The injury ends Bradford's season.
"'Sam suffered an injury to the reconstructed knee that he had done less than a year ago,' Fisher said. 'I met with him this morning. He's left the building to spend time with his parents, and I really can't give you any timetable as to when he's going to have this procedure done.'
"'We've got two issues here, I think,' Fisher added. 'We lost our starting quarterback. But for Sam personally, it's devastating. The news was devastating for him this morning, as you can appreciate. Anyone who's gone through the procedure and the rehab understands, to have it happen again within the calendar is very, very difficult. So we're thinking of Sam.'
"Bradford has looked good in his recovery, especially last week in his preseason debut. The quarterback connected on nine of his 12 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. He was also developing a strong chemsitry with big wide receivers Kenny Britt and Brian Quick, as evidenced when he hit the wideouts in his game appearances.
"'If you saw him at practice, or you saw him play the last two preseason games, I think you'd agree with me that he was that he was 100 percent back and on his way,' Fisher said.
"Bradford, who was entering his fifth pro season, has amassed 11,065 yards passing, 59 touchdowns, and 38 interceptions in his career with the Rams.
"Nevertheless, as with all injuries, St. Louis will have to move on and find ways to win. Veteran Shaun Hill has done well in his three preseason appearances. And young QB Austin Davis completed 14 or 22 passes against Cleveland with two touchdowns and an interception.
"'Shaun's our guy,' Fisher said. 'He's got experience and we've all got the confidence in the world in him. We have around our quarterback position right now probably as good of talent as we've had since we came here. And Shaun's excited about that, and I know he'll benefit from that.'
"He has thrown for 6,381 yards, 41 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions in his career, as well as completing 61.9 percent of his passes.
"'He's got a wealth of experience,' Fisher said of Hill. 'The last few years, he's really only played in the preseason behind Matthew (Stafford in Detroit), but when he played, he played really well. He just makes good decisions, he's mobile, and understands defenses. He's very reliable.'
"Fisher said that having Hill under center will not change anything scheme-wise, as the Rams will still be a run-oriented offense. And in any case, as Fisher said, games are won through all three phases -- offense, defense, and special teams.
"This team's going to rally around Shaun,' Fisher said during a similar declaration by former head coach Dick Vermeil in 1999 of Kurt Warner. 'And we're going to go play.'
"'Players are unique nowadays,' Fisher added. 'They feel Sam's pain right now and his loss, but you've got to go on. That's part of our business -- you go on. So everybody needs to pick it up a little bit more. That's kind of cliche when these things happen, but this young group of guys will.'
"The Rams will play their final preseason game of 2014 on Thursday against the Dolphins in Miami."
ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter Nick Wagoner wrote on Aug. 24 that it's time for the team to look for a new franchise quarterback who will replace the oft-injured Bradford:
"Forgetting the Rams' inability to reach the playoffs or even post a winning record under Bradford's guidance for a moment, the harsh reality is that there's no longer any debate about whether Bradford should be the team's quarterback of the future. Once this season ends, Bradford will have missed 25 consecutive games over two seasons.
"In a five-year career, Bradford will have missed 31 of a possible 80 games, and that doesn't include time playing with a high ankle sprain in 2011. Whether or not you believe Bradford was the right man for the job is beside the point. He's now got a long enough history of serious injury that he can't be considered the team's quarterback for the future.
"Simply put, it's time for the Rams to move on. And more to the point, it's fair to wonder whether they should have already had the succession plan in place.
"This isn't a second guess, this is revisiting a relevant conversation that came up repeatedly around the NFL draft. Even as rumors of the team's interest in Johnny Manziel swirled, Rams coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead remained steadfast in their belief in Bradford."
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