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Chris Long (ankle) placed on Rams' IR-recall list

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The deep defensive line of the St. Louis Rams has taken a major hit.

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Coach Jeff Fisher told reporters Wednesday that pass rusher Chris Long is set to undergo ankle surgery this week and will miss at least "a few" games.

The team later announced that Long had been placed on their injured reserve-designated to return list, meaning it will be at least eight weeks before he can return to in-game action.

Long was hurt in Sunday's season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The seventh-year veteran has started 85 games and piled up 50.5 sacks since St. Louis made him the No. 2 overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Long's spot in the lineup is expected to go to Will Hayes, a 29-year-old pass rusher who has 12 sacks over the past two seasons. The Rams will also lean on promising first-rounder Aaron Donald and the undrafted Ethan Westbrooks for production.

It's been a brutal start to the season for St. Louis. Weeks after losing starting quarterback Sam Bradford for the year, the Rams now travel forward without one of their premier pass rushers.

The St. Louis offense is a mess, but the tandem of Long and Robert Quinn gave the Rams a chance for life from week to week. With Long on the shelf, Jeff Fisher's squad now looms as the odd man out in the rough-and-tumble NFC West.

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