Rams' Pead leaves game with injury

ST. LOUIS — It looks like Isaiah Pead’s third NFL season may be over before it even got started. The Rams’ running back, their second-round pick in 2012, left Saturday’s preseason game with a left knee injury.

“It appears that we've lost Isaiah with an ACL,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “After talking to our doctors, it’s unlikely that he has not torn his ACL, which is very tough for him. He was fighting back. He had a fracture in his finger, had surgery, we pinned it. He was excited about getting an opportunity to return a kick with the ball in his left hand, and it's unfortunate that that happened. We’ll just hope for the best as far as that’s concerned.”

The 24-year-old running back made his preseason debut against the visiting Green Bay Packers on Saturday after returning from his fractured finger.

He was injured on his first touch, a kickoff that he returned 33 yards before he fell to the turf. Pead’s left leg kind of buckled and he went to the ground without being hit.

"Yeah he was cutting,” Fisher said. “Benny (Cunningham) makes a great block and it might have spooked him a little bit because when I got out on the field the doctors told him that he didn’t hit anybody. He wasn’t tackled and he thought he was tackled. So yeah, it’s just kind of one of those non-contact, freak things that happens out there sometimes.”

The 50th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Pead told reporters during OTAs that wanted to make his mark as a running back this season after establishing himself as a strong special teams player a year ago.

Pead had a total of 75 yards rushing and 94 yards receiving in his first two seasons. He has just 17 carries in 25 career games.

“Last year was last year and this is a new year,” Pead said during OTAs. “I'm focusing on playing running back. Helping on special teams also but my main focus is getting back there in the backfield.”

Those plans will now apparently have to wait.

If Pead is indeed out for the 2014 season, he will become the second player the Rams have lost to a season-ending injury in two weeks. Mason Brodine, who was competing for a roster spot as a tight end, was injured in the Rams’ preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints.

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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