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Rams options limited for quarterback help

The Rams will be adding another arm to the roster, but their options are few and far between.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The season rolls on. The St. Louis Rams lost their starting quarterback for the year on Sunday. Sam Bradford tore his ACL. There's a conversation starting about his future with the team, but for now, the most important consideration is the next game and how to find a quarterback to replace him.

Start with two fundamental choices the team has to make. Do they get an untested player who has never seen a regular season NFL snap or do they scramble and try to find a veteran who has been around the block at least once?

Now, consider the salary cap situation. The Rams don't have much. According to Over the Cap, the Rams have roughly $250,000 in available cap space. It will be tough to get a veteran at the pro-rated minimum salary level under the cap. That number could obviously change if need be, but it's safe to say that the Rams aren't suddenly going to find a way to free up millions in cap space. Remember that when various trade rumors start flying around Twitter this week.

That doesn't leave many options for the Rams, so let's not bother with fantasy scenarios.

Most likely

The return of Austin Davis seems inevitable. He knows the offense, he's familiar with the players, and it's only been two months since he was last playing and practicing with the team. Davis was 28-for-54 with 300 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason this year. He had a QB rating of 87 through four games.

Realistic possibility

Greg McElroy is someone that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer knows. The Jets took the Alabama product in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Schottenheimer's last year in New York. McElroy is currently on the practice squad in Cincinnati.

Teams can sign players away from other teams' practice squads. However, that player must be added to the active roster after being signed. That's something the Rams could accommodate considering Kellen Clemens is the only quarterback currently on the 53-man roster or the practice squad.

He would also come cheap.


There's talk of the Vikings making Matt Cassel or Christian Ponder available. Both would have a prohibitive cap number, so it's a stretch to start with. Both have been around a little, and could be a suitable game manager for an offense now determined to run the football along with a dink and dunk passing game.

The Tim Tebow talk has been sufficiently put down (whew) after professional troll Mike Silver did his best to generate clicks for his employers on Sunday night.

From there, you've got a few options that are essentially interchangeable ... and mostly hopeless.

Practice squaders

Don't be surprised if the Rams do, eventually, add a third quarterback to the practice squad. In fact, they probably should considering the possibility of a backup behind an offensive line that's prone to giving up pressure.

However, do not look for that player to get many looks this season, even with the situation at quarterback.

Tyler Wilson, formerly of the Raiders, and Matt Scott in Jacksonville are two intriguing developmental options, but DEVELOPMENTAL is being generous at this point.

As far as the quarterback situation in 2014 goes ... we'll get to that another time.