The St. Louis Rams have another quarterback, their fifth of the season. The team claimed Kellen Clemens off waivers today, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Clemens was released by the Houston Texans yesterday after they signed Jeff Garcia to be their veteran backup behind T.J. Yates.
Adding Clemens signals that the Rams are preparing for the likely possibility that Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley will not be able to play this week. Tom Brandstater, who has floated around NFL practice squads since being signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2009, was in line behind those two.
Clemens was a second round pick of the New York Jets in 2006. He started nine games with them in five years. Houston signed him as a backup prior to Thanksgiving. Washington cut him in September after preseason tryout.
Claiming him off waiver puts the Rams on the hook for the remainder of his salary, which can't be any more than the veteran minimum.
Clemens at least has some NFL experience, but it's not going to make much difference starting him over Brandstater. Brandstater is still likely to get the start ahead of Clemens since he's actually spent at least a few days practicing with the Rams.
St. Louis also moved Jacob Bell to injured reserve, shutting him down for the season and likely ending his time as an expensive, mediocre free agent. Bell restructured his contract prior to the start of the season in order to help free up cap space. Bell is the third Rams starting offensive lineman to land on IR this season.