It’s been a rough season for the St. Louis Rams, and as of late, it hasn’t gotten any better for them.
While the Rams have the chance to bounce back from Sunday’s devastating 34-6 home loss to the Minnesota Vikings with a battle against Tampa Bay this Sunday, they’ll have to do so without one of their top players.
Jeff Fisher announced on Wednesday that DE Chris Long will have ankle surgery after injuring it during the loss on Sunday. During the game, he was listed as questionable, then doubtful, to return, and never did.
While Fisher was initially optimistic the injury would only keep him out a few games, it was later revealed that it will be an 8-10 week recovery time, meaning he will return sometime in November.
This is the second big loss the Rams have suffered this season thus far; the first being when QB Sam Bradford went down with another torn ACL in the third week of the preseason.
Long, one of the most beloved personalities on the Rams, and considered by many to be a very underrated defensive lineman, was drafted out of Virginia with the 2nd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Since then, he has played in 97 consecutive games. He’s has had 222 total tackles, 50.5 sacks, as well as seven fumbles forced. On a defensive line opposite Robert Quinn, Long has been a staple of the Rams for over six seasons now, and has been a major part of a revamped Rams’ defensive line, considered one of the best in the NFL.
With the injury to Long, the Rams’ depth at the defensive line position now is being tapped into, and can be used to their advantage. Players such as Ethan Westbrooks, William Hayes, and Eugene Sims, all who have shown promise in the past, will fill Long’s spot for the time being.
Another interesting statistic to come out of the injury to Long is that, with the Chris Long news, Rams now have $29.2M in 2014 cash & $32.6M in 2014 cap dollars on IR (short & long-term) or paid injury settlements. Which is a big amount of their cap.
It’s only week two of the 2014 NFL season, and the Rams have already hit a rough patch. That being said, the season is still far from over. And until it is over, the Rams will continue to fight, and look to overcome another key injury heading into next week’s game and beyond.
Other Rams’ injury news: Per Jim Thomas, QB Shaun Hill did not participate in practice, CB Lamarcus Joyner was limited, and OL Roger Saffold was a full participant.
Photo credit: (NFL.com)