Jake Long Has Torn ACL & MCL

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The expected news arrived this afternoon: Jake Long suffered a torn ACL in his right knee, early in the game versus Tampa Bay. In addition, the MCL is also torn.

There is no standard time-frame for the healing process with respect to ligament tears and knee injuries. Every athlete heals differently from these types of injuries. The doctors appear to be optimistic about a speedy recovery for Jake Long:

The timing of his return could be crucial to how the Rams approach the off season. When will the team have a clearer picture of Long's expected return date? Before the free agency signing period begins in March? Before the NFL draft in May? The Rams will have many difficult decisions to make in the coming months. Do they hold off on drafting a left tackle in the first round, anticipating Long's early return? Does an early return affect how they will approach Rodger Saffold's free agency? Do the Rams acquire - via the draft or free agency - a replacement for Long, as insurance, in the event his rehab takes longer than expected?

Jeff Fisher gave mixed signals today, when talking about the future of Rodger Saffold:

How much will today's news affect Rodger Saffold's future as a Ram?

Many questions about the status of Jake Long were answered today. Heading into the off season, those answers leave us with more questions...questions that might not be answered for many months. As they say, timing is everything.

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