By Cedric Williams
The St. Louis Rams announced on Tuesday that they had signed free agent quarterbacks Austin Davis and Brady Quinn to their active roster, and will match them up with backup QB Kellen Clemens to form a trio of signal-callers tasked with the duty of replacing injured starter Sam Bradford, who was lost for the rest of the season this past Sunday when he tore his ACL, following an awkward sideline tackle in the Rams’ 30-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
Tuesday is the standard players’ day off in the NFL, so neither Davis, Quinn, Clemens, nor Bradford were available for comment.
Neither was head coach Jeff Fisher, but the signings of Davis and Quinn were expected, considering Davis was one of the last players cut by the Rams during training camp last summer, and Quinn looked good when he worked out for St. Louis during the spring of 2012.
In fact, Fisher wanted to sign Quinn then, but the quarterback chose to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs instead.
To make room for Davis on the roster, St. Louis released offensive line prospect Brandon Washington.
Quinn, who agreed to contract terms on Tuesday, is expected to officially sign his deal on Wednesday. To make room for the former Cleveland Browns No. 1 draft pick, the Rams are expected to place Bradford on the injured reserve list.
Davis, a second-year player out of Southern Mississippi, is in his second stint with the Rams, after signing with the club as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He spent the entire 2012 season on the Rams roster, but did not appear in any games.
This past summer, he battled Clemens for the club’s No. 2 quarterback spot, but didn’t play particularly well in any of the preseason games and was released at the end of training camp.
Quinn starred at Notre Dame, setting more than 30 records for the Fighting Irish, and winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm and Maxwell Awards in 2006, before becoming the Browns’ top pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
In 2010, after struggling through three seasons with Cleveland, Quinn was traded to Denver Broncos, where he backed up Kyle Orton and later Tim Tebow. In two seasons with Denver, Quinn never played in any games.
Quinn spent the 2012 season as the backup quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, before signing with the New York Jets this past spring.
New York cut Quinn on Monday, making him available to the Rams this week.
The new Rams starter at quarterback has made 12 previous starts in his eight-year NFL career, most notably, passing for 286 yards and a touchdown for the Jets, in his first career start, back in 2007.
Last year, with Bradford out, Clemens completed a career-high 25-of-26 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown, in a Christmas eve loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“(Kellen) will start this week,” Fisher said during his weekly Monday press conference at Rams Park in Earth City. “He has a very good understanding of our offense and we’ll have him ready to play… He prepares himself, he has a really good understanding of this offense, and he’s kind of a gun slinger. He’s going to run around and just make plays. He’s a tough guy and he’s a great teammate.”
For more Rams news and updates, visit Rams Central.
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a freelance reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the Rams and small-school college sports for Examiner.com and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can be found on Examiner.com.