In what appears to be the St. Louis Rams’ second season-ending injury in as many preseason games, head coach Jeff Fisher announced following Saturday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers that the team believes running back Isaiah Pead will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. An upcoming MRI will confirm the results shortly.
Just like tight end/defensive lineman Mason Brodine, who suffered a season-ending fractured ankle last week against the New Orleans Saints, Pead suffered his injury on the kickoff return team. On Pead’s first (and presumably only) play of the preseason, he ran back a kick for 33 yards, but appears to get caught up in the turf and flipped at the conclusion of the play. He was helped off the field while putting no weight on his injured leg, and after being taken to the sidelines he was carted off into the locker room.
In all honestly, this injury probably provides a financial gain to Pead. After sitting out the majority of training camp with a hand injury and having his reps very limited while healthy, he didn’t look like he had too good of a chance of making the roster. Pead’s growing ability on special teams had been talked up by the coaching staff earlier this offseason, but when it came down to it, fellow special teams ace and backup running back Chase Reynolds seemed to move firmly above Pead on the totem pole. Now with his injury, Pead will probably get placed on injured reserve and be paid for the full season, or at the very least will be given an injury settlement. Given his status as a former high draft pick, the former seems much more likely than the latter.
Pead, a second-rounder out of Cincinnati in 2012, had pretty much achieved “bust” status as a running back, receiving only 17 carries for 75 yards over his first two years in the league. There was a glimmer of hope, however, that he could at least carve out a role as a nice depth player and give the Rams some value for their pick. With the team now having developed Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham into reliable backs in addition to drafting Tre Mason in the third round this year, it’s very possible that we won’t see Pead on a Rams regular season roster again.