When St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford went down with a torn ACL for the second consecutive season, the team found themselves in quite the quarterback carousel. Now that backup quarterback Shaun Hill is also in doubt, the Rams find themselves in a very difficult situation.
Behind Hill, the Rams have Austin Davis, who has spent the last three year’s with the team, newly acquired quarterback Case Keenum, and finally Garrett Gilbert who would probably be the last quarterback in the league Jeff Fisher would ever consider starting.
If Hill is healthy for Sunday, there is no doubt that he should be the starting quarterback, however, if he can’t go, who should the Rams turn to?
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After Hill was benched in the second half, the Rams turned to Austin Davis, and actually had somewhat decent numbers. Davis completed nearly 70% of his passes with one interception and no touchdowns and had a passer rating of 76.
Davis has spent the last three seasons with this team, and therefore knows the offense which would make him the most logical choice. However, last season he failed to beat out Kellen Clemens in the preseason when the job was his for the taking, and entered this preseason as the fourth string quarterback.
If the Rams plan on winning games, Davis most likely isn’t the answer. After these next two games against Tampa Bay and Dallas, the Rams then go on a brutal stretch in which they play eight games against playoff teams from 2013. The soonest the Rams would probably get a win is late in the season against Oakland, Washington, or New York.
The Rams signed Keenum to obviously just have some experienced depth behind Hill. Little did the Rams no, they may need Keenum sooner rather than later. This offense needs some sort of spark, and Keenum can be that spark, however, as limited as this offense is, it would be even more limited as Keenum has only had a few weeks to learn the offense.
If the Rams want to start Keenum sometime this season, the soonest they would most likely be able to do it is week five against the Philadelphia Eagles. That game is played after the bye week which would give Keenum extra time to prepare.
I’m not going to say Keenum is the answer, but other than Shaun Hill, Keenum is the best option on the current Rams roster.
By someone else, I do not mean Garrett Gilbert. By that I mean, if the Rams were to go out and sign somebody or make a trade. It isn’t very Jeff Fisher-like to go out and make a desperation move in the middle of a season, however, if it there were any time to do it, now would be a good time.
There are options like Terrell Pryor, Mark Sanchez, or even Michael Vick that the Rams could try to make a move for. This is another scenario in which week six would be the soonest any of these quarterbacks could start as it takes more than a week to learn an offense unless you get Sanchez who is familiar with it.
When all is said and done, Austin Davis looks to be the best option for the Rams this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although he may not be the best quarterback on the roster, he is the one that is the most familiar with the personnel and the scheme.
We have yet to see what Davis can do with a full week of practice with the first team. If he plays well, it may be good enough to at least give the Rams a small chance.
Starting Davis is obviously something that the Rams would like to avoid, but unfortunately they may be forced to. The earliest anybody other than he or Hill can start would be after the bye week. Hey, maybe the Rams can even call up Keith Null.