Heading out of the bye week to play the Cleveland Browns for perhaps their third win on the season, the last thing that St. Louis Rams fans are worried about is the defense.
The Rams' defense has played above average and is easily the bright spot of the Rams; however, there are a few players that have been underwhelming. The defense can still play well without these players, but the unit would be better with their contribution.
The Rams signed Ayers to a two-year contract over the offseason and so far the marriage has not worked out for either side. Ayers has four tackles over the season. Not four tackles in a game. The whole season.
The signing was a strange fit since in 2014 with the Patriots he was more of a rushing linebacker. While you can never have enough pass rushers, the Rams did not necessarily need another.
Who knows if Ayers will make more of an impact? His best chance is right now since Chris Long will likely be missing this week's matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
Fairley was the biggest free agent acquisition by the Rams. The former Detroit Lion first-round defensive tackle had an up and down start. He has potential to be damn good, but he hasn't dominated like many would hope.
Fairley has been a solid talent, but for a guy making five million in one season he has not played worth the investment. Honestly, have you noticed Fairley being an impact guy? There are still high hopes for the Rams one-year "prove it" player. We will see if he is worth the investment.
If you are a Rams fan, more than likely you are a fan of Chris Long. He has been one of the faces of the defense for the last few years, and if you follow him on Twitter during the offseason you know he is a damn good follow as well.
On the field, it looks as though Long is on the declining side of his career. Granted there is nothing wrong with average players starting, but his cap hit will be higher than $14 million next season. Long should be healthy in a couple of weeks. Hopefully he picks up the production.
Out of all of the players on the list, Joyner is the one player who is generally safe for the next few seasons. This is Joyner's second season in the NFL, and the jury is still out in the second year slot corner.
He has been up and down this season. He looks better in coverage and doesn't look a couple of steps behind the receiver, but he has still allowed some key third down receptions and big plays. With Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson playing good football, obviously someone else would have to be a target for opposing offenses.
Have these players been disappointments to you guys? Who do you think have been disappointments on the defense?