Exhibition football is almost over. One more game. And while it may be one big giant bore for fans, it's an important one for coaches who have to figure out which 22 players will get their walking papers ahead of Saturday's deadline.
And what will the St. Louis Rams' final 53-man roster look like, or at least the first iteration of it come Saturday? Let's make some educated guesses! For reference, here's the final roster from last year's cut down date.
Something to remember, with Pead and Dunbar suspended to start the season, the Rams have some temporary flexibility as neither one counts against the roster while on their mandated breaks.
Fisher will probably keep three QBs. My question is whether or not the actual backup is still on another team's roster.
Wide Receiver (6)
Five or six receivers? If they do, I still think it's Johnson, a known commodity that gets it.
Last year the Rams kept four running backs, and they just might do it again this year because of the lack of experience. Cunningham's case, for me, is just too hard to ignore. With Pead not counting against the Week 1 roster, that could give both Cunningham and Reynolds an extra week to stick around.
Tight End (4)
Fisher hinted at good news for Harkey, so he might be back sooner than anticipated, which was after Week 3. That gives them the flexibility of not having to carry five tight ends. However, with no fullback, they need a hybrid blocker to replace Harkey for however long he is out. This is a tough call.
Offensive line (8)
That's only eight offensive linemen, which is what the Rams started with last year. Versatility is the rule for the guys who aren't starting.
Defensive linemen (9)
Eight of these spots are claimed, which leaves room for one more going by last year's decision to keep nine defensive linemen.
Left Linebacker (6*)
Dunbar doesn't count against the roster for the first four games of the season thanks to some *ahem* poorly labeled supplements, which is why you've got seven guys here. I like what I've seen from Bates a little more than Stewart, but this will come down to special teams and whatever notes the coaches have on these two. Wti
I've got Stewart listed as the starter, because that hasn't technically changed. I think that McLeod will edge him out for the second safety spot. The PD raises the question of whether or not Stewart's injuries will force him off the roster. It seems like a longshot, but this is a recurring problem. Giordano has missed almost all of camp and the preseason. This is one of those areas where I'd be watching closely for the team to add another veteran.
Well, there's no guessing to be done for the special teams guys at least.