Free-agent signee Jake Long helped to stabilize pass protection in St. Louis at left tackle this season. But his first campaign in St. Louis will end with another serious injury.
Coach Jeff Fisher told reporters Sunday that the Rams anticipate that Long suffered a torn ACL in Sunday's 23-13 win over Tampa Bay. Further tests will confirm the news, but head coaches don't throw an injury diagnosis like that out in public lightly.
Long faces a long rehabilitation, which isn't helped by the timing of the injury. The Rams signed Long to a four-year, $34 million contract in March. Of next year's salary, $4 million is guaranteed, making it unlikely that the Rams would consider cutting the offensive tackle before Week 1 next season.
The Rams have been an improved bunch under Fisher, winning their seventh game Sunday. But they face an uncertain future with two of their cornerstone offensive pieces this offseason: Long and quarterback Sam Bradford, who also tore his ACL earlier this season.