As the St. Louis Rams head into Week 2 of the preseason against the Green Bay Packers, position battles are ongoing. With the news of incumbent outside linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar's four-game suspension, the battles got even more interesting.
Dunbar will be out of the lineup for the first four games – that is for certain. On the other side of middle linebacker James Laurinaitis will be the rookie Alec Ogletree. That, too, has been made clear.
Who will fill in in the meantime while Jo-Lonn does his time for his PED bust? That is not known, but common sense says the recently added veteran – well, he was added pre-training camp – Will Witherspoon takes the reigns and mans the spot. 'Spoon has experience in Fisher's defense after playing with the Tennessee Titans for the past three years.
An interesting name that can be thrown out there is Ray-Ray Armstrong. We have all heard Armstrong's story; the successful college career at The U, the scandal at said university, etc. There is no need to re-hash it. But so far in training camp, Armstrong has impressed on defense and on special teams. Once vying for a roster spot, Ray-Ray's chances now seem much better.
Two other players looking to make the roster are UDFA Jonathan Stewart and Jabara Williams. Steward is technically the next in line after Witherspoon in the depth chart (See this for depth chart references). Williams is Ogletree's back up on the other outside spot.
A thing to keep an eye on as we move towards the game on Saturday - and the rest of the preseason - is the snap counts. It's safe to say Witherspoon doesn't need the reps (he's an 11-year vet), but the rest of the guys making up the depth sure as hell need 'em. Whichever undrafted rookie ends up getting the most reps might be relied upon early in the season.