The St. Louis Rams got some bad news today, compounding the disappointment of an 0-3 start to the season.
Surprise stand-out wide receiver Laurent Robinson has a high ankle sprain AND a fractured fibula (lower leg). The injury will require surgery, and he'll be out for the season. The official site says they'll either have to add a WR or promote Nate Jones from the practice squad...or both.
Paging Donnie Avery, paging Donnie Avery the Rams need you to step up your game. Keenan Burton too. Of course, getting the ball downfield to both players will be key there.
Bulger might throw this week, and his status for this Sunday is unknown.
The other big injury news is SS James Butler, who'll be out for 2-4 weeks with Grade III MCL sprain, an injury that seems to be dogging the Rams this year. That's not as bad of a diagnosis as originally feared. Craig Dahl has filled in for an injured Butler before, during the Giants Super Bowl season in 2007 no less. Dahl was strong in replacement duty this week, but Butler plays a much more central role in the Rams defense than he did in the Giants defense, when he had a top-notch defenisve line in front of him. Against the run-happy 49ers Butler could really be missed.
The other troubling injury news is the hampered CB Ron Bartell. He's got a bruised thigh, a la Steven Jackson in 2008, and got burned a couple times because of it. He's day-to-day. Fortunately, the Rams don't play a pass-heavy team with top notch receivers next week, but I'd put Wade on the 49ers top man, which is Vernon Davis right now, though old friend Isaac Bruce will command some attention.
Gibson and Laurinaitis have minor injuries, the kind tough guys don't even talk about. The one to worry about is David Vobora. He has a concussion and will have to pass a baseline test before he can return. Vobora has been strong against the run, and a part of the reason the Rams are much better in that department this year. They'll need him this week, though SF might be without Frank Gore.
The good news: it sounds like RT Jason Smith could be back.