After releasing veteran linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar before the season started, the St. Louis Rams are expected to bring Dunbar back this week. Head coach Jeff Fisher didn't say that Dunbar was released because he violated the PED policy and was suspended for 4 games, but it's not hard to read between the lines The Rams could have just released him to have another player on the roster, but either way the Rams decided to release their starting linebacker.
Barring any sort of unforeseen changes in the AM, looks like LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar is heading back to the Rams and re-signing with them— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) September 30, 2013
@JJCarlton1 League sources and Rams have not confirmed Dunbar signing, but all signs point to him returning to the Rams this week— Tony Softli (@SoftliSTL) September 30, 2013
The Rams defense has been embarrassing this season. Allowing the quarterbacks from every team they've faced to look like Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Granted, Carson Palmer, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, and Colin Kaepernick aren't the worst in the league.
If and when the Rams bring back Dunbar, don't expect him to be the savior of this defense. It's going to take more than one player to turn this around, but he will help. Mostly in the run game, where they really need help. He was also a good blitzer last year when he was with the Rams, so that should help too.
The Rams are lacking physicality on defense and adding him back should bring that aspect back to the defense. Dunbar was an emotional leader and his solid play helped the Rams defense last year. He also made plays, which is something this defense hasn't done so far. Here's a look at some of the stats: 4.5 sacks, five passes defended, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and 115 tackles
The biggest question is: will Dunbar start when he returns? More than likely he will, maybe not against the Jacksonville Jaguars next week, but probably the week after. Will Dunbar bring the spark the Rams need to get jump started? Time will tell, but the defense can't look much worse than it has the first quarter of the season.