The St. Louis Rams parted ways with disappointing linebacker Ben Leber today, according to Jim Thomas. Taking his place on the roster is quarterback Tom Brandstater, promoted from the practice squad. The move is most likely a signal that the team will be without starting quarterback Sam Bradford for this week's game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Bradford re-injured his ankle in last week's loss to Arizona. He practice a little on Wednesday, but then took zero reps on Thursday. He was very limited on Friday. The last time the Rams carried three active quarterbacks on their roster was when Bradford missed two weeks with the same ankle injury earlier in the season. Though it has not been confirmed yet, this is about as sure an indicator as you can get that Bradford will not play this weekend.
The Rams signed Leber, one of several veteran linebackers added in the offseason, to fix a weakside linebacker problem that plagued the team last year. Leber failed to produce with the Rams, spending most weeks on the inactive list. Instead the Rams have used a combination of players held over from last year's roster, including Brian Kehl and, most recently, Chris Chamberlain. The team's run defense has gotten worse this season, and currently ranks as the league's worst unit.
The failure to fix the run defense is nearly as scandalous as the failure to improve the offensive line. They spent far more money on the later unit.
News like this, it's little wonder there's talk that team owner Stan Kroenke is ready to make changes. A report out of San Diego cited sources who said that Chargers GM A.J. Smith could be in the mix to replace Devaney.