The Rams' first round of roster cuts - reducing the roster to 75 players - have now been completed. By August 30, 4.00 pm EDT, the Rams must further reduce the roster to 53 players. On August 31 - beginning at 12 noon - the Rams may begin signing players to the practice squad. Last week, The NFL/NFLPA agreed to expand practice squads to 10 players (from 8).
The Rams face some difficult roster decisions in the next few days. To further complicate the process, the team must make roster adjustments/decisions to deal with: the loss of Sam Bradford, Stedman Bailey's 4-game suspension, and injuries to Barrett Jones and Trumaine Johnson. Additionally, expect the Rams to scour the waiver-wire, searching for possible depth players at safety, linebacker, quarterback, and the offensive line.
The accompanying chart presents the Rams' current 75-man roster and depth chart, updated to reflect all transactions as of 11.00 pm, August 26:
C Scott Wells Tim Barnes RG Rodger Saffold Davin Joseph Travis Bond LG Greg Robinson Barrett Jones Brandon Washington RT Joe Barksdale Sean Hooey LT Jake Long Mike Person Mitchell Van Dyk TE Jared Cook Justice Cunningham Alex Bayer TE Lance Kendricks Cory Harkey Brad Smelley WR Tavon Austin Stedman Bailey Austin Franklin WR Brian Quick Austin Pettis Emory Blake WR Kenny Britt Chris Givens Justin Veltung RB Benny Cunningham Chase Reynolds Trey Watts RB Zac Stacy Tre Mason QB Shaun Hill Austin Davis Garrett Gilbert PK Greg Zuerlein P John Hekker LS Jake McQuaide DT Kendall Langford Aaron Donald Deantre Harlan DT Michael Brockers Alex Carrington Matt Conrath DE Chris Long Eugene Sims Michael Sam Kourtnei Brown DE Robert Quinn William Hayes Ethan Westbrooks MLB James Laurinaitis Phillip Steward Aaron Hill OLB Alec Ogletree Daren Bates Etienne Sabino OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar Ray Ray Armstrong Lawrence Wilson CB Janoris Jenkins Brandon McGee Marcus Roberson CB Trumaine Johnson Greg Reid Darren Woodard CB Lamarcus Joyner E.J. Gaines S Rodney McLeod Maurice Alexander Christian Bryant S T.J. McDonald Cody Davis Avery Cunningham IR Mason Brodine IR Isaiah Pead IR Sam Bradford IR Demetrius Rhaney
The 43 players highlighted in bold are considered locks to make the final 53-man roster. Stedman Bailey and Barrett Jones would be locks, except for Bailey's suspension and Jones' back surgery. Roster space will need to be created upon their return to the line-up. Trumaine Johnson is likely to be out for 4-6 weeks with an injury. The Rams will carry him on the roster until his return. Although not locks, Mike Person, Chase Reynolds, and Brandon McGee should make the 53-man roster.
The accompanying chart presents the 33 players on the Rams' roster with practice squad eligibility remaining:
Position Player Position Player S Maurice Alexander TE Alex Bayer WR Emory Blake OG Travis Bond DE Kourtnei Brown S Christian Bryant DT Matt Conrath S Avery Cunningham TE Justice Cunningham OT Sean Hooey DT Aaron Donald WR Austin Franklin CB E.J. Gaines WR Justin Veltung CB Darren Woodard OT Mitchell Van Dyk DL Ethan Westbrooks RB Trey Watts TE Brad Smelley LB Phillip Steward LB Aaron Hill LB Lawrence Wilson DE Michael Sam OG Brandon Washington LB Etienne Sabino OL Greg Robinson CB Marcus Roberson CB Greg Reid DT Deantre Harlan RB Tre Mason CB Lamarcus Joyner C Barrett Jones QB Garrett Gilbert QB Austin Davis
Practice squad eligibility requirements:
- A player is eligible if he does not have an accrued season of NFL experience. Players gain an accrued season by being on the active roster for at least six games.
- If a player has one accrued season, they can still be practice squad eligible if they were on the 46-man active game-day roster for less than nine regular season games.
- A player is deemed to have served a season on the practice squad if he remains on the practice squad for at least three weeks. Players are eligible to be on the practice squad for two seasons.
- Players can be eligible for a third practice squad season if their team maintains no less than 53 players on the active/inactive list at all times.
2014 draft selections Greg Robinson, Aaron Donald, Lamarcus Joyner, Tre Mason, and Maurice Alexander are all locks to make the final 53-man roster. Barrett Jones would be a lock, but his recovery time from back surgery is unknown at present. The Rams may place Jones on the IR - Designated-For-Return list. That leaves 27 players with practice squad eligibility. Of the remaining 27, who will make the final 53-man roster? Who will be signed to the practice squad?
- Deantre Harlan
- Avery Cunningham
- Justin Veltung
- Emory Blake
- Kourtnei Brown
- Brad Smelley
- Sean Hooey
- Lawrence Wilson
- Etienne Sabino
- Aaron Hill
53-Man Roster (7)
- Alex Bayer
- Ethan Westbrooks
- Brandon Washington
- E.J. Gaines
- Greg Reid
- Phillip Steward
- Michael Sam
Practice Squad (10)
- Justice Cunningham
- Christian Bryant
- Mitchell Van Dyk
- Trey Watts
- Darren Woodard
- Austin Franklin
- Travis Bond
- Garrett Gilbert
- Marcus Roberson
- Matt Conrath
The accompanying chart is the projected roster, based on my predictions:
C Scott Wells Tim Barnes RG Rodger Saffold Davin Joseph LG Greg Robinson Brandon Washington RT Joe Barksdale LT Jake Long Mike Person TE Lance Kendricks Cory Harkey TE Jared Cook Alex Bayer WR Tavon Austin Brian Quick WR Kenny Britt Chris Givens Austin Pettis RB Benny Cunningham Chase Reynolds RB Zac Stacy Tre Mason QB Shaun Hill Austin Davis PK Greg Zuerlein P John Hekker LS Jake McQuaide DT Kendall Langford Aaron Donald DT Michael Brockers Alex Carrington DE Chris Long Eugene Sims Ethan Westbrooks DE Robert Quinn William Hayes Michael Sam MLB James Laurinaitis Phillip Steward OLB Alec Ogletree Daren Bates OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar Ray Ray Armstrong CB Janoris Jenkins Brandon McGee CB Trumaine Johnson E.J. Gaines CB Lamarcus Joyner Greg Reid S Rodney McLeod Cody Davis S T.J. McDonald Maurice Alexander Practice Squad Reserve/Suspended Injured Reserve Justice Cunningham Stedman Bailey Isaiah Pead Mitchell Van Dyk Mason Brodine Darren Woodard Sam Bradford Austin Franklin Demetrius Rhaney Marcus Roberson Travis Bond IR - DFR Christian Bryant Garrett Gilbert Barrett Jones Trey Watts Matt Conrath