Watching the knees on the Rams offensive line

The St. Louis Rams have been fortunate on the injury front this season, but their first real test comes this week with RT Jason Smith out with a strained knee and C Jason Brown playing with a strained knee. Wha?

Here's injury guru Will Carroll discussing the injuries at Football Prospectus today (also a good article to check out for your fantasy teams):

First round pick Jason Smith left Sunday's game with a sprained knee, while center Jason Brown also sprained his knee. Both are linemen, share a name and suffer from the same injury, but that's about it. The Rams are keeping the nature of the injuries under tight wrap, but both are thought to be MCL injuries -- who'd have guessed that this season? Smith's is more severe, making him likely to miss a game, maybe two, but he won't need surgery. This indicates a Grade II sprain. Brown's is less severe and he's more likely to play. The demands of the two positions are different; with the center needs less lateral motion, but is at higher risk of a collateral ligament sprain, since those occur when hit from the side. Centers in the middle, so almost everything happens to their sides. At left tackle, Jason Smith needs more quickness, more lateral motion, and more quick lateral motion. Like the center, the tackle also needs to push, but he's going to be more taxed with footwork than a center would be. It's amazing how similar injuries to similar players end up with very different scenarios once you understand the game of football and how it's played.

I'm only a medical expert in so far as claiming sickness to weasel out of things, so I'll leave that without comment.

Adam Goldberg steps in for Smith this week. Goldberg's a solid backup. I feel like he's a little better blocking for the run than the pass, but a capable player for spot starting duty.

Brown is a key guy this week, as the big man in the middle against the first 3-4 defense the Rams will see this season. He'll be all over former Rams DT and constant reminder of the old regime's incompetence, Ryan Pickett.

Stay tuned.

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