The St. Louis Rams will have to do another round of shuffling on the offensive line. Center Scott Wells suffered a fractured fibula in Sunday's loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
According to head coach Jeff Fisher, that injury will keep Wells on the shelf for 4-6 weeks. With just four games left to play, that means the Rams have unofficially lost Wells for the rest of the year.
"We're still evaluating it, but it's a four to six week injury," Fisher said at his Monday news conference. "It's very similar to [T.J. McDonald] - very similar. Non-displaced and so we're just kind of evaluating what we're going to do with the roster."
Tim Barnes took over for Wells Sunday, and the former Mizzou pivot will get the start next week too.
"He played pretty well," Fisher said of Barnes. "Tim, he's a pro, he prepares. He gets a minimal amount of reps on the practice field, and he played well with Scott being down."
Barnes graded out well in 45 snaps Sunday. Pro Football Focus scored him at 1.7. He did not allow a sack or any pressure on the quarterback.
As for Wells, his future with the Rams is cloudy. This is the second year of a $24 million, four-year free agent contract he signed with the Rams in 2012. He played in just seven games last season, after suffering an injury in Week 1. He made it through 12 this year. The Rams could save $4 million toward the cap in 2014 by cutting Wells.
The Rams drafted Alabama center Barrett Jones in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Fisher's tabbed him as a center in previous comments to the media, and if Barnes struggles, it's fair to wonder if Jones won't get the call. Looking ahead, Jones would be the favorite to take over the starting center job in 2014.