As first reported by ESPN’s Nick Wagoner, the St. Louis Rams are about to place star defensive end Robert Quinn on Injured Reserve with a back injury, ending his season after just eight games played. Quinn had only missed one game total in his first four NFL seasons.
Joining Quinn on Injured Reserve is starting safety T.J. McDonald, who was selected by St. Louis in the third round of the 2013 Draft.
The news is just the latest in a tremendously disappointing second half of the season for the Rams. After starting the season 4-3, including difficult wins over division rivals Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, the Rams currently sit at 4-8. That means the Rams are tied for last place in the NFC West with the also-disappointing San Francisco 49ers, and Football Outsiders gives St. Louis a 0.2% chance at making the playoffs. The team already swapped out offensive coordinators earlier this week.
This is Jeff Fisher’s fourth season coaching the Rams, and he has yet to produce a winning record, with a previous best of 7-8-1 coming in his first season, 2012. Losing Quinn and McDonald is especially costly to the Rams, as defense is the team’s strength: Football Outsiders has the Rams as the 6th-best defense in the league this season, by DVOA.