Teams eliminated from the playoff chase mostly just want to navigate this portion of the season without any major injuries. The Rams may have lost that battle Sunday, with starting left tackle Jake Long needing to be carted off with a potentially serious knee injury.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher told FOX's Pam Oliver that the "fear" is that Long damaged his ACL.
If that's the case, Long's status for the start of the 2014 season could be in jeopardy -- no small bit of news for a rebuilding team like the Rams, who gave Long a four-year, $34 million contract last offseason.
Offensive tackle figured to be on the Rams' shortlist heading into the upcoming draft, where they hold Washington's first-round selection (No. 2 overall headed into Week 16). It may be the top priority if Long winds up facing several months of rehab.
The injury itself was of the dreaded non-contact variety. As Long planted while dropping into pass protection, his leg appeared to buckle. (GIF via SBNation)