When Sam Bradford was pronounced out for the season with another tear in his left ACL, the Rams found themselves in a similar situation as they were about 15 years ago.
In the 1999 preseason, new franchise quarterback Trent Green tore his ACL on a hit by Rodney Harrison in an exhibition game against the Chargers, sparking the beginning of what became the Kurt Warner story in the NFL.
Then-head coach Dick Vermeil stuck with Warner and ended up winning the Super Bowl that year in the most improbable way possible.
Fast-forward a decade and a half later and the Rams are in a similar situation, taking a similar route: sticking with the backup.
Except veteran journeyman quarterback Shaun Hill is no Kurt Warner.
Hill is expected to take over for Bradford who went down in the first quarter against Cleveland on Saturday after taking a hit from Browns defensive lineman Armonty Bryant. He also missed the last nine games last year with his first tear in his left ACL and missed six games in 2011 to various injuries.
That’s not to say that he’s not a good quarterback, in fact, Hill is very serviceable, and a scrappy competitor.
The issue with relying on Hill for an entire 16-game season is that Hill has never played an entire NFL season. The most games he played in a season was 13, starting in 10 back in 2010 with the Detroit Lions. In a seven-year NFL career, the 34-year-old Hill has thrown for just 6,381 yards with 41 touchdowns and 23 interceptions, recording a record of 13-13 as a starter.
“Hill is just a guy,” said one NFC evaluator. “They need someone else.”
Rumors have begun to spread among the league for options for the new Rams’ quarterback vacancy, stretching out as far as the Eagles’ Mark Sanchez and Washington’s Kirk Cousins.
So who should St. Louis go after? Let the debate begin.