Last year, Ron Bartell's devastating neck injury cost the veteran cornerback his entire season and put the St. Louis Rams on the path that led them to the No. 2 pick and a big free-agency payout to Cortland Finnegan. This year a Ron Bartell injury leaves the Oakland Raiders shorthanded at cornerback, after they picked him up in the 2012 offseason. His broken shoulder blade puts him on the injured reserve, but he'll be back this season.
Bartell is a steady starter at the position, and in his first four years as a starter he never played fewer than 13 games for the Rams. Now he's lost significant parts of his season in each of the last two years; at 30, and on a one-year make-good contract after being waived by the Rams, he'll have to really impress upon his return to the field to ensure his continued employment.
Bartell's injury was the first of a season-crippling myriad for the Rams in 2011. The Raiders, at least for now, replaced him on the roster with practice squad refugee Coye Francies. Let's hope, for their sake, that that's where this year's Ron Bartell parade of injured cornerbacks ends.