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Los Angeles Rams vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Final injury report spreads concerns across defense

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Two major gametime decisions for the Rams today on the defensive side.

Los Angeles Rams ILB Alec Ogeltree
Los Angeles Rams ILB Alec Ogeltree
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams are hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14 in the biggest game of the year for the LA Rams and perhaps the biggest game for the franchise on the merits since the Rams returned to LA.

So with everything on the line, and with much of the sporting world looking on, here’s the final injury report for today:

2017 LA Rams Week 14 Injury Report

Name POS Injury Wed. Status Thu. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Name POS Injury Wed. Status Thu. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Malcolm Brown RB Knee Full Full Full -
John Sullivan C Not Injury Related DNP Limited Full -
Andrew Whitworth T Not Injury Related DNP Limited Full -
Lamarcus Joyner S Shoulder - DNP Full -
Mark Barron LB Not Injury Related DNP DNP Limited -
Connor Barwin OLB Forearm DNP DNP Limited Questionable
Alec Ogletree LB Elbow DNP DNP Limited Questionable
Robert Woods WR Shoulder DNP DNP Limited Questionable
Dominique Hatfield CB Hip - Limited DNP Doubtful

We’ve already learned that WR Robert Woods will be out of commission today, so that leaves the big decisions on the defensive side of the ball.

With CB Dominique Hatfield having been waived earlier this week, we’ll have to keep an eye out for news on OLB Connor Barwin and ILB Alec Ogletree. Barwin is still coming back from his arm injury, but rookie OLB Samson Ebukam filled in capably last week. The bigger question is of the defensive quarterback in Ogletree. When Tree had to depart early against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13, HC Sean McVay turned to third-year man Bryce Hager to take over. While the immediate concern might be a dip in athleticism going from Tree to Hager, the more impactful issue is defensive preparedness. Tree’s role in diagnosing the offensive movement and calling out assignments is crucial. His absence was immediately felt last weekend as the Cardinals began to gash the Rams’ running defense with ease. It wasn’t until the second half that the defense settled in.

Per NFL Network’s Steve Wyche, it’s truly a 50/50 call:

You’d have to think the Rams have spent an inordinate amount of time working in Hager on defense to prepare him for the greater level of responsibility should Tree have to sit today. In fact, McVay alluded to the potential roster change on Friday:

Absolutely. I think, really, when you’re a part of the active roster, when you’re up on that gameday roster one of the 46 – you never know what could happen. Whether it’s a guy that goes down and that is available and you’ve got to be able to step in like Bryce was last week. Or if it’s something where a starter might be questionable going into the game, but you use that week of preparation to get a bunch of good work. And know that my mindset is, ‘I’m ready to go and play every single snap, if that’s the case.’ ...You’d like to be able to have Alec, but if not we have a lot of confidence in those guys to step up in their absence.

As for Philly, here’s their side:

2017 Philadelphia Eagles Week 14 Injury Report

Name POS Injury Wed. Status Thu. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Name POS Injury Wed. Status Thu. Status Fri. Status Game Status
Derek Barnett DE Groin Full Full Full -
Jason Kelce C Ankle Full Full Full -
Destiny Vaeao DT Shoulder DNP Full Full -
Joe Walker LB Neck Full Full Full Questionable
Zach Ertz TE Concussion DNP Limited Limited Questionable

Here’s Brandon Lee Gowton had to say about the injury report over at Bleeding Green Nation, the SB Nation community for fans of the Eagles:

Two Eagles players have been ruled questionable: Zach Ertz and Joe Walker.

After missing practice entirely on Wednesday, Ertz was limited on Thursday and Friday. Ertz still remains in the league’s mandatory concussion protocol. He won’t be eligible to play until he passes through.

It’d obviously be a big loss for the Eagles if Ertz can’t play. If Philadelphia’s leading receiver is out, the team will have to rely on increased playing time for Brent Celek and Trey Burton.

Walker has been ruled questionable despite being a full participant in practice all week. If he can’t play, the Eagles will likely rely on Najee Goode to fill his role in the base defense. That’s how the Eagles handled this situation against the Seahawks. Dannell Ellerbe will also be active if Walker can’t play.

And we since learned from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that even if Ertz is listed Questionable, he’s considered downgraded by the team.

Inactives should be out in about two hours.