A MRI has revealed Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has suffered a torn left ACL, reports Chris Mortensen of ESPN (via Twitter). Bradford will miss the entire 2014 season. The Rams will hold a news conference later today to confirm the news.
The injury, which occurred in last night’s contest preseason game against the Browns, afflicts the same ACL which Bradford tore during Week 7 last season. Bradford, the 2008 Heisman winner and the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, has had trouble staying healthy in his career, starting only 49 out of a possible 64 games. Additionally, he hasn’t been very successful when he has played, averaging just 2,766 yards through the air, with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions over four years, while his career completion percentage sits at just 58.6%.
Rumors of Bradford’s release surfaced over the offseason, and though he was ultimately retained, there’s virtually no scenario in which he returns to St. Louis in 2015. The Rams could save nearly $13MM against the cap next year by releasing Bradford, who is set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. For his part, Bradford’s 2015 potential free agency prospects look grim — as Evan Silva of Rotoworld tweets, Bradford will likely enter the market not only coming off back-to-back ACL tears, but having missed 31 of out a possible 80 games.
The Rams will presumably turn to backup Shaun Hill, who was signed to a one-year deal over the offseason, to take over as their starting quarterback. If St. Louis wants to look to bring in depth behind Hill, it could either look to find a trade partner, or scan the list of available free agent quarterbacks.
Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the Rams’ concern that Bradford might have re-torn his ACL.