Rams put TE McMichael on IR with broken leg, torn ligament

Updated: October 6, 2008, 4:25 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- As if an 0-4 start wasn't bad enough, things got worse for the St. Louis Rams on Monday: Tight end Randy McMichael will be lost for the season with a broken right leg.

McMichael broke his tibia and tore a ligament in his leg in the Rams' 31-14 loss to Buffalo on Sept. 28. On Monday, the team put him on injured reserve, ending his 2008 season.

"He is a guy that is another playmaker on our football team," said Jim Haslett, who became interim coach a day after the Buffalo loss, when Scott Linehan was fired. "It's a shame. He's a good kid. He worked hard. He's one of our better blockers, and he's a guy who can run and go catch it, so obviously not having him is going to hurt us."

Third-year player Joe Klopfenstein will start beginning with Sunday's game at Washington (4-1). Klopfenstein started as a rookie in 2006 before the Rams signed McMichael as a free agent.

The Rams expected big things of McMichael in 2008 after what essentially amounted to a lost season in 2007. Because of the many injuries to the offensive line, McMichael often found himself as a glorified third tackle as he stayed in to block instead of catching passes.

After finishing with a career-low 39 catches in 2007, McMichael led the Rams in receiving in the first week against Philadelphia and had 11 catches for 139 yards in four games.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press