If things felt bad for the St. Louis Rams and their fans on Sunday afternoon after a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, they didn’t know the half of it. The St. Louis Rams got more bad news on Monday when it was announced that Cornerback Ron Bartell has two fractures in his neck and will likely be out for the rest of the season. If that wasn’t bad enough, running back Steven Jackson will also miss Monday Night’s game against the New York Giants and quarterback Sam Bradford is iffy at best for that game. Happy start of the season, Rams fans.
While the news on Bradford is pretty encouraging the other news certainly overshadows that. Losing Bartell for the season is a potentially devastating blow for the Rams in 2011. The Rams were already very thin at the cornerback position and are now without their best player. With Bartell out it probably means that the Rams will be starting the aged Al Harris on Monday or Justin King who continually looks overmatched out there. And just to add a little insult to injury the Rams also have their other starting cornerback, Bradley Fletcher, hobbled by a sprained toe. Yikes!!!!
The news on Bradford is more encouraging. Bradford did not suffer a break in his finger during the game against the Eagles, but does have a significant bruise. This is affecting his grip on the football which obviously would make him useless as the starter if it does not improve. Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo said that it is a day-to day issue, but Bradford may be able to throw as soon as Wednesday. That is a sliver of hope.
Meanwhile the news on Steven Jackson is not as good. As expected he did have a quad strain and will miss next week’s game against the Giants. While that was not unexpected it was scary to hear the head coach throw around terms like “week to week” in describing his injury. The Rams fans should be concerned that they won’t see Jackson until October and probably expect it. Thankfully the Rams went out and got two competent backups in Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood this offseason who will not allow a huge drop off from Jackson.
In other horrible injury news the Rams have lost Danny Amendola for a significant amount of time. They are not ready to say the season yet, but it doesn’t look good. Tackle Jason Smith did suffer a sprained ankle, but it is not the dreaded high ankle sprain. He is listed as day to day. The other tackle Rodger Saffold also suffered an injury when he was kicked in the calf and is also day to day.
So all in all the Rams lost their best cornerback for the season, their All-Pro Running Back for weeks, their young stud quarterback for a quarter and maybe a game or two, their best receiver from last season for probably the season and oh yes their starting tackles are both limping around Rams Park. What a way to start the season.
This has got to be Billy Devaney and Steve Spagnuolo’s worst nightmare come true. The wheels, literally, appear to have fallen off before they even got out of Week One. Thankfully the Rams have an extra day before this weekend’s game. Maybe they will get a little turn of luck next Monday?
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