Sam Bradford's season might very well be over. The St. Louis Rams second-year quarterback spent the last two days watching his team practice, sidelined by the same high ankle sprain that sidelined him in October. Whether Bradford plays or not, his season is officially lost, a sophomore slump for the ages. Hopeful Rams fans are now left to wonder about Bradford's future, which is inextricably linked to the future of the franchise.
Bradford has plenty of believers, despite his rocky second season. Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network offered some lofty praise for Bradford during a recent radio appearance. Asked which current NFL quarterback "will prove to be the most accomplished 10 years from now," Lombardi rattled off three names: Cam Newton, Matt Stafford and Sam Bradford. What he said about Bradford's play was a serious indictment of the team's personnel moves this year.
And I think Sam Bradford, the talent around him is so horrendous, it's just really unbelievable how they could let that team slip the way they have. But he is so good that I think he could be a player that could really rise above it all if they get a team that could actually protect him, that could actually do something around him. I think he's really a good player. I think he's the sleeping giant in all this.
For all the discussion of where the Rams failed this year, be it not hiring a quarterbacks coach, getting out-coached on a weekly basis or an offensive system too smart by half, the team's failure to add legitimate offensive talent is pretty glaring. It will probably end up costing a few folks their jobs.
I suspect we'll be talking lots more about this as we cull the postmortems on the 2011 St. Louis Rams and the Spagnuolo-Devaney era of leadership.