Rams coach Jeff Fisher confirmed Monday that left tackle Jake Long suffered a torn ACL and MCL injury during the first quarter of Sunday's game against the the Buccaneers. The offseason acquisition and former first-overall pick of the Dolphins had started 15 games this season but now the man he replaced, Rodger Saffold, will move from right guard to tackle for the Rams' finale.
"Jake played well for us. He really shored up that side of the offensive line and gave Rodger an opportunity to move over [to guard]," Fisher said. ... "Rodger is a tremendous athlete and when healthy, you can put him up there with some of the best in the league."
The coach also expects Long to return in time for the 2014 season.
"I would have confidence in him coming back," Fisher said. "He's an exceptional athlete and takes care of himself."
Shelley Smith came off the bench to play guard when Saffold was pressed into duty at left tackle, but the long-term implications of Long's injury are still up in the air. The Rams will need to make a decision on Saffold, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Of course, if Saffold isn't re-signed, St. Louis could address the offensive line with their top-3 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, which comes courtesy of the 2012 trade with the Redskins that allowed Washington to trade up and take Robert Griffin III.