The St. Louis Rams signed offensive tackle Thomas Welch from the Buffalo Bills practice squad this afternoon, according to Tony Softli of ESPN 101. Welch fills an immediate need the Rams have at offensive tackle following the loss of both starters and a third stringer.
Welch, from Vanderbilt, was a seventh-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2010. He later ended up on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad in 2010 before rejoining the Patriots this year. He suited up for three games and made one start in New England. Clearly, familiarity with the offensive scheme, whatever that is, made Welch an attractive option for the Rams.
Adding Welch bumps Kevin Hughes down to the third tackle spot. Rodger Saffold is out for the season. Mark LeVoir is out for up to four weeks with a pectoral injury. As for Jason Smith, Spagnuolo noted yesterday that the team will have to make a decision soon as to put him on the injured reserve list.
It isn't a stretch to think that Jason Smith's career with the Rams is over. Starting Adam Goldberg in Smith's place, the Rams have seen no dropoff in play. The difference between Smith and Goldberg is that Smith makes about $9 million this season. They might be able to trade Smith, but it's unlikely given his contract expense.