A month ago, the Rams made 18 roster moves in one week, necessitated by the season-ending injuries to Jake Long and Brian Quick, plus the acquisition of Mark Barron. It's been eerily quiet since then. Not one roster move was made in the last month, until Tuesday of this week.
In a seemingly innocuous move, the Rams released WR Damian Williams, and signed TE Justice Cunningham from the practice squad to take Williams' place on the 53-man roster. According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, another team was interested in signing Cunningham. The Rams prevented that from happening. Interestingly enough, the move leaves the Rams with only 4 WR's - and 5 TE's - on the 53-man roster.
The Rams could be thinking beyond this season. Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey are eligible for free agency in 2015. Losing both would leave the Rams with depth issues at the position. The Rams could lose both of their best blocking TE's (Cunningham's forte).
Rams release WR Damian Williams, who had been slowed recently by hamstring injury. Move leaves Rams with only 4 WRs on 53-man roster.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) November 25, 2014
With roster spot created by WR Damian Williams' release, Rams promoted TE Justice Cunningham.— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) November 26, 2014
Another team was interested in signing Cunningham to its active roster. Rams like him enough that they promoted him to 53-man.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) November 25, 2014
Rams now carrying the 5 TE's that initially made roster out of training camp. But they'll have to make a move if/when Chris Long activated.— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) November 26, 2014
As expected, the Rams activated DE Chris Long from Injured Reserve/Designated For Return on Saturday afternoon. NFL.com Insider Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news:
The #Rams have activated DE Chris Long (ankle) today following a stint on IR/designated to return, source says.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 29, 2014
The Rams had until 3:00 pm ET Saturday to activate Long for Sunday's game against the Raiders. To make room for Long's return to the 53-man roster, the Rams released LB Marshall McFadden. McFadden will likely be signed to the Rams' practice squad after he clears waivers. There's one opening available on the practice squad, resulting from the Rams signing Justice Cunningham to the 53-man roster earlier in the week.
To make room for Long, Rams waived LB Marshall McFadden.— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) November 29, 2014
St. Louis Rams Current Roster And Depth Chart
C Scott Wells Barrett Jones Tim Barnes RG Davin Joseph Brandon Washington LG Rodger Saffold RT Joe Barksdale LT Greg Robinson Mike Person TE Lance Kendricks Cory Harkey Justice Cunningham TE Jared Cook Alex Bayer WR Kenny Britt Chris Givens WR Tavon Austin Stedman Bailey RB Tre Mason Chase Reynolds Trey Watts RB Benny Cunningham Zac Stacy QB Shaun Hill Austin Davis PK Greg Zuerlein P John Hekker LS Jake McQuaide DT Aaron Donald Kendall Langford DT Michael Brockers Alex Carrington DE Chris Long William Hayes DE Robert Quinn Eugene Sims Ethan Westbrooks MLB James Laurinaitis Korey Toomer OLB Alec Ogletree Daren Bates OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar Will Herring CB Janoris Jenkins Marcus Roberson CB Trumaine Johnson E.J. Gaines Lamarcus Joyner SS T.J. McDonald Mark Barron Maurice Alexander FS Rodney McLeod Cody Davis Practice Squad Injured Reserve QB Case Keenum QB Sam Bradford OT Steven Baker RB Isaiah Pead OG Travis Bond TE Mason Brodine TE Brad Smelley OC Demetrius Rhaney WR Emory Blake LT Jake Long WR Devon Wylie WR Brian Quick DT Matt Conrath CB Brandon McGee CB Jemea Thomas FS Christian Bryant