If there is one position the already-fleckless Rams can’t afford to downgrade, it’s cornerback. But a downgrade now seems inevitable. Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that cornerback Ron Bartell suffered what appears to be a significant right ankle injury today. The results of Bartell’s X-rays are not yet known.
Bartell is a veteran corner who struggles in man coverage, but he at least gives St. Louis’s secondary genuine NFL experience. The starter opposite him, Bradley Fletcher, is a second-year player coming off a serious knee injury. Replacing Bartell will either be journeyman Kevin Dockery (who is familiar with Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive scheme) or third-round rookie Jerome Murphy (who was drafted primarily to cover the slot). The Rams also have last year’s starter, Justin King, on the roster.
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