The New York Jets continue to be franchise plagued by bad luck. Within the first five plays of having Aaron Rodgers, the Jets quarterback tore his achilles and will now miss the remainder of the season. A similar thing happened in 1999 to Vinny Testaverde. The Jets will now either need to make a move at quarterback or rely on Zach Wilson. With the injury to Rodgers, I thought it might be interesting to look back on some of the more tragic injuries in Los Angeles Rams history.
1. Trent Green Tears ACL in 1999 Preseason
The injury will always be number one in Rams history in terms of most tragic. Obviously, the Rams went on to win the Super Bowl with Kurt Warner, but you could see the frustration on the team by Isaac Bruce slamming his helmet on the turf. It was at this moment that some thought the Rams’ season was over.
OTD 1999: In his first year with the #StLouis Rams, QB Trent Green suffers a season-ending knee injury on a hit from Chargers safety Rodney Harrison in a preseason game.— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) August 28, 2020
Head coach Dick Vermeil: "We will rally around Kurt Warner, and we will play good football."
Green had come over from Washington to St. Louis to join Mike Martz and be the catalyst for a high-powered offense. Nobody knew what Warner would eventually do, but the initial reaction was very similar to the one currently happening in New York.
2. Jack Youngblood Breaks Leg in 1979 Postseason
For playing on a broken leg, Youngblood played admirably and was far from the reason the Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. If Nolan Cromwell intercepts Terry Bradshaw or Vince Ferragamo doesn’t throw an interception on 1st-and-10 at the Steelers 32-yard line, the Rams might have won that game.
Youngblood was stout against the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Playoffs. Still, it’s hard not to wonder what would have happened had the Rams gotten a healthy Youngblood in that game. Even at 90 percent, he was very good, but that extra 10 percent might’ve made a difference.
3. Sam Bradford Tears ACL in Week 7 in 2013
There weren’t a lot of moments from 2009-2016 in which the Rams had some hope. The 2013 season however, was one of those rare moments. The Rams were 3-3 heading into a Week 7 clash against the Carolina Panthers and Sam Bradford was having a career season. Going into that game, Bradford ranked fifth in the NFL in touchdown passes and had only thrown three interceptions.
The Rams were getting blown out, 30-15 with under six minutes to play. Bradford ran towards the sideline and got knocked out of bounds by safety Mike Mitchell. A bad step and Bradford tore his ACL. It’s unlikely that the team would have finished 11-5 to qualify for the postseason with Bradford, but there was a lot of uninspiring quarterback play with Kellen Clemens and Austin Davis.
4. Todd Gurley Injures Knee in 2018 Against Eagles
There is an argument to be made that the most tragic injury of the 2018 season was Cooper Kupp’s injury. However, the Rams still had Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks at wide receiver. The offense at the time, ran through Todd Gurley. Kupp also was the third option and not the dominant player that he has been over the last few years.
It’s hard to know if the Rams beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl with a healthy Gurley. Earlier in the year, the Rams lost 15-6 to a Chicago Bears team that ran a similar style defense. However, in a game that was in striking distance for most of it, would Gurley have been able to make a play or two that changes the outcome?