By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: October 14th, 2014 at 2:30 am EST
In the off-season, the St. Louis Rams thought quarterback Sam Bradford was going to be able to play this season. They were also counting on him to be their franchise quarterback, but those thoughts have since disappeared.
After back-to-back torn ACL’s – and the third since college – Sam Bradford is going to have a hard time coming back from his latest setback. This time around, it was the same leg that he suffered the ACL in last year, which will his rehab more difficult.
As a free agent in March of 2015, there’s no indication that the Rams would be willing to bring him back. Plus, if he does make it back, he would have to take a one-year, incentive-based contract to prove that he deserves another shot, even if it doesn’t come with in St. Louis.
Once Bradford went down in the third preseason game, head coach Jeff Fisher felt Shaun Hill was capable of replacing the former Oklahoma Sooners signal-caller. His decision only lasted one game, as Hill has been the back-up since Week 2.
Austin Davis, who bounced around in the Rams and Miami Dolphins practice squads the past two seasons, made his NFL debut once Hill went down with an injury in the season opener, and has proven that he deserves consideration to be the quarterback of the future. While the team is 1-4 on the year, it wasn’t in part due to Davis struggling.
For example, on Monday Night Football, the Rams had a 14-0 lead after the first quarter. Then, they were outscored 31-3 over the final three quarters ultimately losing the game, 31-17.
As a starter, Davis has completed 118 of 185 passes for 1,365 yards. He also has two 300 yard passing games in his young career.
The Southern Miss graduate is averaging 273 yards per game with 7.4 yards per pass. He also has seven touchdowns to four interceptions.
On Monday Night Football, he completed 21 of his 42 passes for 236 yards – he couldn’t connect with his receivers deep, and threw several questionable passes. He also had a touchdown and an interception.
Last season, Bradford played in just seven games, and had a 3-4 record at the time of his injury. He went 159 of 262 passes for 1,687 yards.
He averaged 241 yards per game which Davis has already surpasses. Bradford also had 14 touchdowns to four interceptions.
The Rams have named Davis the quarterback for the rest of this season on October 1st – and the team has no quick hook on him. As he continues to get quality starting time, he is going to continue to develop in offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Fisher’s system.
With this development, as long as he continues to make steps forward, he is going to force the team to consider him for the long-term answers. At the moment, Davis is just locked up through the rest of this season at $570,000 – and will become a restricted free agent after the season.
All three Rams quarterbacks will be free agents after this season.