The St. Louis Rams will be placing two of their best defensive players on injury reserve: defensive end Robert Quinn and safety T.J. McDonald.
Quinn, who requires back surgery, has started eight games this season and played in seven. The Rams have already gone without him for the last three weeks. McDonald, who will undergo shoulder surgery, has been solid for the defense finishing his season with 63 tackles, one sack, and pass deflection.
The playoff hopes for the Rams have been crushed, so the last four weeks will be evaluation time for the Rams.
Replacing Quinn, the Rams will likely look towards William Hayes and Eugene Sims. Both Sims and Hayes will become free agents after the season. The Rams will more than likely bring back one or both, but this is the perfect time for an evaluation period to help determine which route they want to go. Sims outplayed Hayes by 10 snaps against the Cardinals on Sunday.
The plan to replace McDonald will be to play second-year safety Maurice Alexander. The 2014 NFL Draft 4th-round choice will get his chance to start and showcase his skills. If Alexander plays well in the next four games, maybe the Rams will move on from Rodney McLeod who is in his final year of his contract.