Quarterback Sam Bradford looked solid in his first preseason game against the Packers. His knee seemed strong and was holding up.
He was 9-12 for 101 yards and a touchdown. He had also started to develop a strong connection with Kenny Britt and Brian Quick.
All of the good vibes came crashing down on Saturday night against the Cleveland Browns.
“Sam suffered an injury to the reconstructed knee that he had done less than a year ago,” Fisher said at a team press conference Sunday evening. “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.”
This is quite possibly the worst news the Rams could have had this year. They were counting on Bradford to come back strong and be able to finally lead this team back to the playoffs.
However, as the NFL mantra goes, “next man up.” i.e. the next guy in line has to rise to the occasion and be able to perform. That man is Shaun Hill.
“Shaun’s our guy,” Fisher said. “He’s got experience and we’ve got all 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.”
So, life must go on in St. Louis. Shaun Hill will be given the reigns and will be expected to lead this team to victories right away.
“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.”
This whole situation is unfortunate for Rams fans, and for Bradford as well. The “make or break season” for Bradford seems to be a break, and things surrounding the position will begin to get interesting following 2014.
As for now, we can only hope the players can rally around Hill and compete this year.
Or, if you are on the opposite side of the coin, see the team sandbag and hope for a quarterback stud in the 2015 draft.