It's a big day today for the St. Louis Rams as they shave 21 players off their roster to meet the league's deadline for finalizing their 53-man roster before the start of the regular season. Overlapping that imposing deadline is the news that DT Adam Carriker could be out for a while with a shoulder injury and Samkon Gado, the backup runner, is nursing a cartilage damage in his rib cage. Rams GM Billy Devaney and Co. are going to be very busy today.
First, Gado. There's possibly some good news there as the official Rams site says that it's mostly a pain tolerance issue for Gado. Of course, for a running back, pain in the rib cage could be pretty dicey. I'm not convinced enough by Gado to minimize anything that could slow him down. Roster cuts always carry a potential solution or two at running back, so keep an eye on what names emerge this weekend. Gado is going to test it out in practice this week, which means a move on this front might not happen immediately. The free agent scrap pile doesn't have much left on it at the moment - Shuan Alexander anyone? - outside of some oldsters and guys who once shined in Denver's infamous system. Here's a report from Scout.com looking at some names that might be job hunting after cuts today. Running backs of interest on that list include: Jamal Lewis, Justin Fargas, Chris Henry (TEN), and Lorenzo Booker.
Fargas is the most complete, and a reduced role would cut down on the injury risk. Henry is fast and could do special teams work.
As far as Carriker goes, they could stick him on IR and go with the four DTs we mentioned yesterday. That looks kind of like an expansion team list of DTs. From that same Scout.com report, Oakland's Terdell Sands could be a roster cut, and would be an upgrade in the run stopper role. The Browns might be looking to trade Corey Williams who doesn't have a place in their new 3-4. He'd be more of the gap shooting type DT. Former Jets and Broncos DT Dewayne Robertson is still out there, sitting by his phone waiting for a call from some team desperate at DT.
One thing that helps the Rams at DT is the fact that Spags and Flajole like to use DEs in those spots on blitz packages. That could have an impact on roster decisions.
Stay tuned. We've got you covered.