Those who watched the St. Louis Rams open the season 0-4 and giving up 11 sacks sensed quarterback Marc Bulger couldn't survive long under the number of hits he took.
They were right.
Concerned about the punishment absorbed by Bulger, who has played at least the last two games with two cracked ribs, Rams coach Scott Linehan has decided to rest his two-time Pro Bowl quarterback for at least one week and possibly more.
Fourteen-year veteran Gus Frerotte, regarded as one of the NFL's top backups, will replace Bulger in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Frerotte, 36, started 15 games for the Miami Dolphins in 2005 when Linehan was offensive coordinator there. Linehan and Frerotte have a close relationship and the presence of the coach in St. Louis prompted Frerotte to sign with the Rams as a free agent in 2006.
The switch to Frerotte, team officials indicated to ESPN.com on Wednesday morning, is not permanent. Instead, it is aimed at providing Bulger some time to recover and to perhaps gain some new insights from the sideline on the Rams' offensive struggles. St. Louis is one of only three winless franchises in the league, and Bulger and a sputtering offense that has scored only 39 points, have been major disappointments.