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The Rams Are One Of The Healthiest Teams In The NFL

The 2016 Los Angeles Rams have been incredibly fortunate in perhaps the biggest impact risk of all: injuries.

Los Angeles Rams OT Andrew Donnal
Los Angeles Rams OT Andrew Donnal
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

On April 29 with the 50th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected C Nick Martin.

On August 18, Martin suffered an ankle sprain in a joint workout with the New Orleans Saints. Head Coach Bill O’Brien described the injury as “not serious.”

A week later, the Texans confirmed that Martin required surgery on the ankle in a procedure that is forcing him to miss the entire 2016 NFL season.

Tony Romo. Teddy Bridgewater. Hroniss Grasu. Branden Oliver. Reggie Ragland. Benjamin Watson.

The NFL was littered with injuries in the preseason and that has, of course, only continued in the regular season. Teams have loaded up injured reserve lists and are regularly offering injury reports ten, a dozen, 15 names deep.

Not so the Los Angeles Rams.

While Rams fans have been treated to weekly list of hilarious excuses to support Head Coach Jeff Fisher’s inadequacy in bringing winning football to the franchise this season, one excuse he’s rarely been able to offer is a list of injuries.

The Rams have just five players on injured reserve:

  • FB Zach Laskey
  • WR Marquez North
  • S Brian Randolph
  • DT Louis Trinca-Pasat
  • OT Darrell Williams

They also have two players assigned to the roster who are currently not holding a spot on the 53-man roster: RB Tre Mason (currently on the Did Not Report list) and WR Stedman Bailey (on the Non-Football Injury list).

That they have avoided serious injury to the lineup is remarkable. As Fisher mentioned in his press conference yesterday, the Rams’ 22 starters between the offense and defense in Week 9 was the same 22 from Week 1.

Consider the total players other NFL teams are without:

ARI 10 11
ATL 6 6
BAL 14 15
BUF 9 12
CAR 7 7
CHI 11 15
CIN 4 5
CLE 12 14
DAL 7 12
DEN 3 3
DET 7 10
GB 5 5
HOU 11 12
IND 6 7
JAX 5 7
KC 8 9
LA 5 7
MIA 4 7
MIN 7 9
NE 3 6
NO 10 13
NYG 7 9
NYJ 7 8
OAK 6 8
PHI 4 5
PIT 9 11
SD 16 18
SF 7 7
SEA 11 11
TB 7 9
TEN 4 5
WAS 9 13

Not only are the Rams one of the healthiest rosters in the league, the roster subtractions they have had pale in comparison to the large majority of other teams. Only six teams have put less than the five players the Rams have on IR.

The Broncos have just three including their starting RB (C.J. Anderson) and primary backup DE (Vance Walker). How would the Rams’ final eight games look without RB Just Todd Gurley and DE Eugene Sims?

The other team with three players on IR? The New England Patriots. They were, of course, without their starting QB for the first four games. Then the backup got hurt. Then the backup backup, a rookie, got hurt. Oh, and their starting RG and RT are both on the PUP list.

The Rams have been unbelievably fortunate on the injury front through nine weeks of the NFL season. Granted, a 3-5 record is hard to help suggest good fortune on nearly any front, but looking around the league at the injuries that nearly every other team has had to endure since constructing their 90-man rosters in the summer, the Rams could be in much worse shape personnel-wise were they not as lucky to avoid major injury.

So yes. The Rams are, in a way, lucky just to be 3-5.