EARTH CITY, Mo. -- If it seems like the outbreak of serious knee injuries around the NFL this year is more prominent than usual, it's because they are.
According to the research done by ESPN Stats & Information, there have been 110 players placed on injured reserve with knee injuries so far in 2013. That's 11 percent higher than the 99 suffered at this point a year ago and even further ahead of the 82 that took place in 2011.
In this case, a serious knee injury isn't just an ACL injury but any knee injury that has landed a player on injured reserve so far this season. A few notes of interest from this list:
Every team in the league is represented by at least one player.
The NFC West and NFC North divisions have the fewest combined players on the list with 10 each.
The Rams have just one current player on the list.
Nobody has quite been able to pin down any sort of root cause for the increase in knee injuries aside from the usual logic related to it being the nature of the game for it to happen. Each team has been hit by knee injuries, but not all have hurt teams the same.
While the Rams have just one player on the list, one could argue it was the most important player on the roster suffering the injury. Quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a torn ACL against Carolina in Week 7 and the moment he was carted off the field it was a near certainty that their chances of a postseason run were gone.
Regardless of your opinion of Bradford as a franchise quarterback, he was clearly the best signal caller on the team and seemed to be settling into a groove in the offense as the Rams began to establish a legitimate running game.
Of course, the Rams aren't the only team suffering from losing a key player to ACL injuries. New England tight end Rob Gronkowski joined a list including Bradford, Indianapolis receiver Reggie Wayne and Cincinnati defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
No matter the reason, it's a shame to see so many players dealing with the aftermath of knee injuries as well as the effect it's had on the teams around the league.
A roundup of Tuesday's Rams stories on ESPN.com. ... In yesterday's Ram-blings, we looked at the Rams' lost decade as they once again can't finish the season with a winning record. ... From there, we hit this week's Redskins Watch with a look at Washington's remaining schedule and the ever-improving chances its pick going to the Rams in the draft will be in the top five or better. ... The Rams' Power Ranking didn't move this week despite a 20-point loss. We discussed why that's the case. ... Finally, it was time for this week's study session with observations from last week's game against Arizona after reviewing the All-22 film. We offered a piece on the defense and one on the offense.
At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas writes that the Rams are once again in a position where they're searching for motivation to finish the season strong.
Thomas also participated in his weekly chat with Rams fans.
Jeff Gordon writes that the time to start building toward 2014 is now.
Rams safety Cody Davis discusses his rookie year experiences on his blog.
At Over the Cap, the guys investigate the Rams' salary cap situation heading into 2014.
On the subject of the salary cap, Turf Show Times talks about the high cost of having players on injured reserve relative to cap space.