ST. LOUIS – Jeff Fisher shared the bad news with quarterback Sam Bradford on Sunday morning.
By the time the St. Louis Rams’ coach began a news conference, he had several hours to digest the impact of an injury that puts the team’s once-rosy outlook in serious doubt, and to give a vote of confidence to journeyman backup Shaun Hill.
After announcing Bradford’s season-ending torn ligament in his left knee for the second time in nine months, Fisher said speculation about a trade was premature.
“We lost Sam for the year,” Fisher said. “The news was devastating to him.”
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The coach quickly added everyone at Rams Park must quickly become accustomed to the 34-year-old Hill running the offense.
Bradford was injured in the first quarter of Saturday night’s 33-14 exhibition victory at Cleveland. He was hit on his left side by Browns defensive end Armonty Bryant as he threw a pass, and hopped briefly on his right leg before dropping to the ground. Fisher said the injury was a “one in 100” rarity.
“The knee was locked and something has to give,” Fisher said. “Unfortunately, the ACL gave.”
Bradford missed the final nine games of last season with a knee injury.
Meanwhile, Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson was carted off with a knee injury during the game and will miss at least four weeks.
At 49ers 21, Chargers 7
San Francisco’s No. 1 offense still looks flawed two weeks from the regular season, and the 49ers did just enough to beat San Diego. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick was 6 of 12 for 59 yards.
Chargers starter Philip Rivers was 9 of 10 for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Bengals 19, at Cardinals 13
Cincinnati’s Terence Newman returned an interception 54 yards for the only touchdown by either team’s starters and the Bengals went on to beat Arizona.
The Cardinals got their lone TD on a 30-yard pass from backup Drew Stanton to rookie John Brown with 1:29 left in the third quarter, tying the score at 13.
• Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has a hairline fracture in his ribs that has left his availability for the start of the regular season in question.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Newton was out for Thursday’s exhibition finale at Pittsburgh, and expected him to play in the season opener at Tampa Bay on Sept. 7.
But Rivera later referred to Newton’s status as “week to week,” according to a Charlotte Observer report.
• Matt Prater’s lawyer said the league threatened a yearlong suspension before agreeing to ban the Denver kicker four games for violating its substance-abuse policy. Harvey Steinberg said Prater’s suspension was alcohol-related. Prater, 30, has been in the substance-abuse program since he was charged with DUI in 2011.
• Dimitri Patterson’s mysterious absence is over. The 31-year-old cornerback rejoined the New York Jets on Sunday night after inexplicably not showing up for the team’s game against the New York Giants on Friday.