Dec 22, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams tackle Jake Long (77) is taken off the field during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Confirmed: Jake Long Tears ACL/MCL In Win Over Bucs

December 1, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; St. Louis Rams tackle Jake Long (77) blocks against San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith (99) during the third quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Rams 23-13. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In the offseason the Rams signed one of the big name free agents out on the market, offensive pro bowl left tackle, Jake Long. Long was having yet another pro bowl season as he was rated the 6th best tackle in the league on pro football focus.

Unfortunately the Rams were victims to yet another major knee injury to one of their key offensive players this season. In week five it was Sam Bradford, now in week 15 it was Jake Long. Long’s injury was a non-contact knee injury which is never a good sign.

Head coach Jeff Fisher and the Rams were speculating that Long had torn his ACL, and they were right. It was confirmed that not only did  Long tear his ACL, but he also tore his MCL. The MCL tear complicates things a little bit by delaying the surgery 4-6 weeks.

The doctors have to wait and let the MCL heal and scar over before they can go in and repair the torn ACL. As mentioned before that process will likely take 4-6 weeks.

After that is complete Long will have a long rehab process ahead of him, one that could put him out up to nine months. Fisher, as well as the doctors and Long, are hopeful that he will be ready to go for the beginning of next season.

Training camp and preseason will probably be a no go, but the beginning of the season is the goal for Long and the coaches.

With injuries such as these, you never know how a player is going to come back. On the rare occasion they will come back like Adrian Peterson did last season, but most of the time player’s take a while to heal and end up coming back not fully up to speed and have comebacks similar to what Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III experienced.

With the injury to Long, it makes the resigning of offensive tackle/guard Rodger Saffold all that much more important. Saffold has been that one stable part of this offensive line and it would be detrimental for him to leave.

Long’s injury could also have an impact on the draft. Jeff Fisher isn’t known for taking offensive tackles in the first round of drafts, but this could be a special circumstance. With Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews on the board and Jake Long’s injury uncertain, the Rams may be forced to take Matthews.

The Rams have quite an offseason ahead of them, they have a lot of uncertainties and a lot of big decisions that could dictate the future of the franchise. All of that starts with if this team can retain Rodger Saffold.

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