The Los Angeles Rams finally look like they are having a season of their lifetime which is a complete turnaround from the mess they were in the previous season. They trounced the Seahawks and are well on their way to clinching the division crown.
However, they are going to have to find a way to win without one of their most important players. Greg Zuerlein is out for the season. Zuerlein suffered a back injury and was placed on the injured reserve after being diagnosed with a herniated disc. He was replaced by Sam Ficken.
Ideally, a kicker's injuries are not newsworthy, but Zuerlein had been having one of the best seasons in history for any NFL kicker and had even been named to the Pro Bowl team the previous Tuesday.
Apparently, Zuerlein had been struggling with back problems all season long, but things took a turn for the worse on Saturday night as he slept. An update by McVay on Sunday indicated that Zuerlein’s back was so sore that he could not stand up straight but was still able to make four of his five extra-point attempts and two field goals.
Zuerlein has since undergone back surgery to repair the disc and will be out for the remainder of the season and post season. Before the injury, Zuerlein had made 44 out of 46 extra-point attempts and had made 38 of 40 field goal attempts. He was also leading the NFL with 73 touchbacks on kickoffs with an average return of kickoffs of just 20.6 yards.
He was part of the reason behind the revamped performance of the Rams who were looking like a very serious Super Bowl contender.
In his absence, Sam Ficken, a product of Penn State, will take over the mantle. Ficken played in the preseason for the Jaguars and the Chiefs but had never played in a regular season NFL game prior to this assignment.