So it begins again, the Rams annual cascade of injuries.
WR Keenan Burton had arthroscopic surgery to clean up his knee yesterday, and won't return until the second weekend of October, at a minimum. In my humble opinion, the Rams could have used his youthful exuberance in their lineup, players with a passion to play are at a premium right now. Hopefully, the wheels haven't come completely off by the time he returns, so he can get some time to establish himself.
Speaking of rookies, with the lineup in need of a good shakeup, they deserve more playing time. OL John Greco, the Rams third round pick this year, could be used at one of the guard spots, an area that was a particular problem for the Rams last week. The real problem in the middle seems to me to be the undersized Nick Leckey. The guards to his right and left are having to do more in support, leaving the whole middle vulnerable. Incognito is much bigger than Leckey or Romberg and has experience at center, albeit a problem with the shotgun snaps something the Rams have been using with increasing frequency of late. Anyway, Bell on the left side, Incognito in the middle, and Greco on the right. That might have to change is Greco can't hold up and makes Alex Barron weaker.
I'd also use LB Chris Chamberlain at safety. Chamberlain played well in coverage through the preseason and came to the league with a solid rep in that department. Right now, the Rams need all the help they can get in coverage and not using Chamberlain is foolish. Sure he's an inexperienced rookie, but how much worse could it be? Using Chamberlain at S would allow them to limit Corey Chavous' reps, taking some pressure off those old, slow legs. This is something we've talked about before.
Too bad CB Justin King is out for the season. He'd really have a shot at a starting role this year.
We're not seeing enough of DT Clifton Ryan or DE Victor Adeyanju in the rotation, and the poor play against the run reflects that.
More playing time for WR Donnie Avery is coming, we're told. They definitely need his speed, and if that means adding more plays that incorporate that, then so be it. He backs up Holt right now, but we're being told Avery will get more work at other positions. That needs to happen this week given Seattle's mediocre backfield.
OT Anthony Alabi, one of the two players brought in for an audition yesterday, was a Nick Saban pick, during his, um, celebrated run as the Dolphins head coach from 2005-06. WR Chad Jackson is actually an intriguing possibility. An early second round pick (36th) in 2006 by the Patriots, he dealt with a hamstring injury during his rookie year, but scored 3 TDs with just 13 receptions. He tore his ACL in the Pat's AFC Championship loss to the Colts that year, and ended up on the PUP list through the 2007 season because of it. He had a good summer this year, catching 7 passes for 66 yards and 2 TDs. Neither player was signed.