ST. LOUIS -- Rams defensive end C.J. Ah You has been lost for the season with a knee injury.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Thursday that Ah You will be placed on injured reserve -- the ninth Ram this season and the third defensive lineman (Adam Carriker, Gary Gibson) to go on the list. Spagnuolo said Ah You will require surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered during Wednesday's practice.
"Another player stepped on C.J.'s foot and he couldn't get his leg out of there, and at the same time, somebody fell on it," Spagnuolo said. "It was freak."
Ah You, a 2007 seventh-round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills, earned a spot on the Rams' 53-man roster this year after a strong preseason in which he had nine tackles and two sacks along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. After being cut by the Bills, Ah You joined the Rams and spent the final six weeks of 2007 and all of 2008 on the practice squad.
"When we first got here, he didn't really surface right away," Spagnuolo said. "He continued to earn playing time. I don't think anybody really knew about him. He was a practice-squad guy and was kind of unknown. He earned his way, and that's a credit to him."
Ah You has played in eight games this season with one start. He had 17 tackles and one sack.
"Any time you lose a guy like him, it's a little bit of a setback," said Ken Flajole, the Rams' defensive coordinator. "That's the nature of our game. People get injured and the next guy steps up. C.J. was doing a great job for us. I'm sick for the kid because he's really making great progress."
Victor Adeyanju, a fourth-round pick in 2006, will move into Ah You's role. Adeyanju played in all 16 games last season and led St. Louis' defensive lineman with 47 tackles.
"This is a chance for Victor to get in there and play around a little bit," Flajole said. "I'm sure Victor will do a good job for us. He's a diligent young man."
Adeyanju was declared inactive for the first six games, but he has played in the last three. Adeyanju said he's ready for more of a role.
"As a player and a competitor, it's been tough," Adeyanju said about his season. "I was obviously down, very down. At one point, I was losing sleep. I don't come here to sit around and not play. ... I'm still here and I still have a chance."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.