The St. Louis Rams will likely be finishing the season without quarterback Sam Bradford, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Hobbled by a high ankle sprain since October, Bradford has mostly watched practices for the last weeks wearing a walking boot. Despite his disappointing season, Bradford is still viewed as the franchise cornerstone the Rams drafted him, and paid him $78 million, to be.
Bradford struggled all year long, just one season removed from a debut that earned him the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. The reasons for Bradford's sophomore slump are numerous, new responsibilities in a new offense, the lockout, no quarterbacks coach, injuries up and down the roster and a glaring lack of offensive talent.
Bradford's injury in and of itself isn't enough to keep him out for the Rams' last two games, according to injury expert Will Carroll of Sports Illustrated.
What's at play? I suspect it's a mix of things, not the least of which is preserving his health for next season rather than forcing him to play in two meaningless games behind an offensive line constructed of paper dolls, especially with the Steelers and James Harrison on the schedule next week. Don't overlook the politics of change at play here either.
Barring some sort of miracle, the Rams will be picking in the top three. They'll most likely have the third pick, as their opponents and Minnesota's opponents will give them the second overall pick based on strength of schedule. That's notable because Schefter also mentioned that the Rams will be listening to offers on their top three draft pick.
The lure of Robert Griffin III or Matt Barkley and a new rookie wage scale should facilitate some horse trading. That's good for the Rams, who have many, many roster needs to fill.
Who is running the Rams draft remains to be seen, but there are likely to be some new faces in the war room.
Stay tuned, this offseason is going to make up for a dull regular season.