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LA Rams - Buffalo Bills Playing Time Breakdown: How The Rams Adjusted To Injuries In Week 5

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Here’s how the Rams adjusted the playing time dealing with injuries going into Week 5 and throughout the game.

Los Angeles Rams Vs. Buffalo Bills
Los Angeles Rams Vs. Buffalo Bills
Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Note: I’ll update the snap counts in this spreadsheet all season including the first tab tracking the season totals. While I’ll paste individual game PT in each week’s recap, I’ll likely refer to the season totals moving forward from that link. So uh, peep it.

Offense

Player POS Off Off%
Rodger Saffold T 67 100.00%
Greg Robinson T 67 100.00%
Rob Havenstein T 67 100.00%
Case Keenum QB 67 100.00%
Tim Barnes C 67 100.00%
Jamon Brown G 61 91.04%
Lance Kendricks TE 59 88.06%
Todd Gurley RB 55 82.09%
Kenny Britt WR 53 79.10%
Tavon Austin WR 46 68.66%
Brian Quick WR 44 65.67%
Tyler Higbee TE 33 49.25%
Cory Harkey TE 14 20.90%
Bradley Marquez WR 8 11.94%
Malcolm Brown RB 8 11.94%
Pharoh Cooper WR 7 10.45%
Mike Thomas WR 6 8.96%
Cody Wichmann G 6 8.96%
Andrew Donnal T 2 2.99%

If injuries are the dominant theme this week though more focused on the defensive side, G Jamon Brown stepping up for G Cody Wichmann was a direct sub, though an interesting one considering Wichmann beat out Brown for the starting gig sometime between Week 1 of this season and Week 9 of 2015 when Brown was injured.

While I’m holding off on the Just Todd Gurley Worry Update thread (for now), his usage topped 80% for the third consecutive game, though not having backup RB Benny Cunningham made that a less surprising output than in previous weeks.

WR Brian Quick hit a season-high for playing time despite the NFL debut of rookie WR Pharoh Cooper. With WR Nelson Spruce supposedly close as well, is Quick’s ascendance a blip or a developing trend?

Random fact: This was the first game in which the Rams’ offense took more snaps than the defense in 2016. It happened just four times last season. In those four games, the Rams went 1-3. They’re obviously 0-1 in such games this year. No clue what that means...but maybe it’s a thing.

Defense

Player POS Def Def%
T.J. McDonald SS 55 100.00%
Alec Ogletree LB 55 100.00%
Mark Barron LB 54 98.18%
Maurice Alexander SS 54 98.18%
E.J. Gaines CB 54 98.18%
Trumaine Johnson CB 47 85.45%
Aaron Donald DT 46 83.64%
Ethan Westbrooks DT 43 78.18%
Eugene Sims DE 40 72.73%
Lamarcus Joyner CB 30 54.55%
Cam Thomas DT 28 50.91%
Dominique Easley DT 28 50.91%
Matt Longacre DE 26 47.27%
Josh Forrest LB 24 43.64%
Morgan Fox DE 12 21.82%
Troy Hill CB 4 7.27%
Marqui Christian SS 3 5.45%
Bryce Hager LB 1 1.82%
Cory Littleton LB 1 1.82%

Unlike the Wichmann injury which occurred early in the game, CB Trumaine Johnson went down late. We don’t know quite how the rotation’s going to work in his absence, but we didn’t get a great sense of it on Sunday nonetheless.

The defensive line was a show with DE Robert Quinn, DT Michael Brockers and DE William Hayes all out. DE Eugene Sims, DT Cam Thomas and DT Dominique Easley all hit season highs on playing time while DE Morgan Fox made his season debut picking up a dozen snaps. We’ll have to monitor the injury report this week on those three starters, but we got our answer on the personnel rotation with all three out. The question is if Bills RB LeSean McCoy’s performance shifts the coaching staff’s initial approach if all three are out again in Week 6.

And with S Cody Davis out, rookie LB Josh Forrest hit a season high with nearly half the defensive plays. Could this be the kind of opportunity where an injury changes the modus operandi where Forrest takes over for Davis for the rest of the season even when Davis heals up?

The bigger surprise for the back-of-the-depth chart work here was that S Marqui Christian who signed to the roster fringe in late September got three defensive snaps. If Davis misses more time, I wonder if Christian could see his defensive assignments grow.

Special Teams

Player POS ST ST%
Bryce Hager LB 26 83.87%
Chase Reynolds RB 26 83.87%
Troy Hill CB 21 67.74%
Bradley Marquez WR 20 64.52%
Josh Forrest LB 20 64.52%
Cory Littleton LB 20 64.52%
Marqui Christian SS 17 54.84%
Temarrick Hemingway TE 14 45.16%
Eugene Sims DE 13 41.94%
Mike Thomas WR 12 38.71%
T.J. McDonald SS 12 38.71%
Greg Zuerlein K 11 35.48%
Cory Harkey TE 10 32.26%
Demetrius Rhaney C 10 32.26%
Malcolm Brown RB 9 29.03%
Trumaine Johnson CB 9 29.03%
Matt Longacre DE 8 25.81%
Johnny Hekker P 8 25.81%
Jake McQuaide LS 8 25.81%
Tavon Austin WR 7 22.58%
Ethan Westbrooks DT 7 22.58%
Mark Barron LB 6 19.35%
Cam Thomas DT 6 19.35%
Rodger Saffold T 5 16.13%
Greg Robinson T 5 16.13%
Rob Havenstein T 5 16.13%
Jamon Brown G 5 16.13%
Andrew Donnal T 5 16.13%
Maurice Alexander SS 5 16.13%
Aaron Donald DT 4 12.90%
E.J. Gaines CB 3 9.68%
Pharoh Cooper WR 2 6.45%
Dominique Easley DT 2 6.45%

Here’s your top 10 special teams participants for the season:

Player ST%
Chase Reynolds 88.24%
Bryce Hager 76.47%
Cory Littleton 72.06%
Bradley Marquez 71.32%
Cody Davis 69.12%
Josh Forrest 69.12%
Cory Harkey 55.88%
Troy Hill 49.26%
Benny Cunningham 36.76%
Mike Thomas 34.56%

The next two names on that list are P Johnny Hekker and LS Jake McQuaide, so that top 10 is your special teams core for the season, though TE Temarrick Hemingway and Christian would be in the mix based on recent weeks.

So projecting into 2017...what changes could take place? Remember, LB Daren Bates was part of the core before joining the Raiders in free agency this offseason. Is Chase Reynolds’ work rate enough to suggest he’s irreplaceable? Cody Davis’ numbers took a dip because of the injury this week, but between his ST work and his depth at safety, is he a lock moving forward? And how much of the youth in the top 10 sticks past 2016?


As always, drop your observations on the playing time from this week as well as anything you’re seeing from the season snaps.