St. Louis Rams OG Jamon Brown Likely Out for Season with Fractured Leg


As if the 37-13 loss they sustained on Sunday that dropped them below .500 wasn’t enough to ruin the St. Louis Rams’ day, they had another dent put in their season during the latter part of Sunday’s game. Offensive guard Jamon Brown went down near the sideline in the fourth quarter while trying to tackle Chicago defensive lineman Willie Young, who had intercepted a Nick Foles pass. The 6-foot-4, 323-pound Brown was carted off the field and did not return, and head coach Jeff Fisher announced after the game that Brown suffered a fractured lower leg and will likely miss the rest of the season, which seems to be a large understatement considering the usually serious nature of that type of injury.

First of all, the injury is a huge disappointment for Brown, a third-round pick out of Louisville who had been an extremely pleasant surprise as a rookie starter after moving inside to guard from his college position of tackle. As the Rams sought to maximize their talent up front, Brown shuffled between left and right guard to much success. Along with fellow rookie starter Rob Havenstein, who has played all but one game at right tackle this year, Brown has been one of the Rams’ best and most consistent linemen.

The Brown injury will really leave the Rams scrambling, and it could expose their depth up front after choosing to keep only four offensive linemen with any NFL experience on their 53-man roster this year. After having already lost starting guard Rodger Saffold to a season-ending shoulder injury, the Rams now will n0t even have a trusty rookie like Brown to rely on.

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It should be an open competition to fill Brown’s spot this week. One option to replace him will be rookie fourth-rounder Andrew Donnal, who started at left guard last week at Minnesota as Havenstein was injured and regular starting guard Garrett Reynolds kicked out to tackle. Donnal, however, was inactive on Sunday against the Bears, so that might give us an idea of how the Rams felt that he performed last week and how they view him as a potential starter going forward.

Unless the Rams sign a veteran off the street, the only other alternative to Donnal would seem to be sixth-rounder Cody Wichmann, who dressed as a backup guard on Sunday and replaced Brown after he went down. In an unbelievable testament to the Rams’ lack of line depth going into this year, Wichmann would be the fourth different rookie lineman to start a game this year. He could join undrafted rookie tackle Darrell Williams, who may have to start in place of Havenstein next week, as the rookie right tackle left Sunday’s game with an apparent calf injury.

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If you choose to look at things with the glass half full, the Rams could now end up starting as many as six rookies this year (Todd Gurley, Havenstein, Brown, Donnal, Wichmann, and Williams). That’s a significant contrast from other Rams draft classes, such as the 2011 group, from which only three players remained by opening day of 2012 and only Robert Quinn and Lance Kendricks now remain.

It’s a toss-up as to who the Rams will bring on to replace Brown on the 53-man roster, assuming that he’s placed on injured reserve this week. Offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, who the Rams used a fifth-round selection on in this year’s supplemental draft, is the only offensive lineman on the practice squad. Battle, who even at the time of his selection was viewed as a project who would need a “redshirt year”, was so underwhelming during training camp that he was waived in the cutdown to 53 players. With that in mind, the Rams may want to find a lineman who is realistically playable this year in the case that they suffer more injuries up front. It’s highly possible that the new addition will have to dress for next week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, as center Demetrius Rhaney and the loser of the guard competition are set to be the only available backups, and the Rams usually have three extra linemen on the 46-man active gameday roster.

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Head to our Rams page for more updates, including news tomorrow on what the Rams plan to do following the Brown injury.