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Could the Rams start Sam Bradford behind this line?

Left tackle Jason Smith now out with stress fracture Brad Biggs

Print This June 11, 2010, 05:06 PM EST

If the St. Louis Rams were at the start of the regular season right now, they would have to think long and hard about exposing rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, the No. 1 pick in the draft, to danger.

That’s because the offensive line is in shambles. Better now than come mid-September, but St. Louis has some serious healing to do after left tackle Jason Smith, the second pick in the 2009 draft, was knocked out with a stress fracture in one of his toes.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an MRI revealed the injury and Smith will be sidelined for the remainder of the offseason program, which includes OTA’s and minicamp. It is not believed that surgery will be necessary, but Smith has to heal and you never know. These can be tricky injuries for offensive linemen.

“I thought he was just feeling really comfortable doing some things at left tackle,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

Here is where it gets tricky: Per the report, the Rams now have six offensive linemen sidelined with injuries. Six. That is after Mark Setterstrom, an interior lineman, left practice with what was described as a “serious elbow injury.”

If the line is still being pieced together come September, the club is going to have to weigh the risk associated with playing Bradford. Center Jason Brown is the only locked in starter who is healthy right now, and second-round draft pick Roger Saffold is on the shelf. Yeah, this ought to be enough to keep Spagnuolo up at night in mid-June.

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