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How A Significant Injury To DE Dominique Easley Would Impact The Los Angeles Rams’ DL

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If Easley’s MRI comes back with less than celebratory results, here’s what the Rams are looking at on the defensive line.

Los Angeles Rams DE Dominique Easley
Los Angeles Rams DE Dominique Easley
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

With the news that Los Angeles Rams DE Dominique Easley was carted off with a knee injury during practice in training camp today, the Rams’ defensive line has a ton of questions going into their fifth practice of camp with a joint practice with the Los Angeles Chargers looming on Saturday:

Starters

DE Dominique Easley

It starts with Dom. The last official word we had was from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that it was a “serious” knee injury with an MRI forthcoming that was “not looking good.”

Let’s hope for the best, which to be honest isn’t unfair.

Remember that CB Trumaine Johnson injured his MCL in the preseason three years ago and was able to return for Week 9. At this point, let’s hope it’s not worse than that.

Perhaps more encouraging was that in Tru’s absence, up stepped rookie CB E.J. Gaines. Let’s hope that if Easley does miss extended time, we’re treated to a similar situation where he can come back with his spot on the depth chart replaced more than adequately.

DT Michael Brockers

Healthy. In camp. Next.

DE Aaron Donald

Currently holding out for contractual reasons.

Depth

DE Ethan Westbrooks (roster preview)

Westbrooks re-signed on a one-year deal in April. He’s likely the lead horse here on experience, though I’d throw water on how valuable that experience is under a new coaching staff.

DE Morgan Fox (roster preview)

Fox got some NFL experience last year as a UDFA call-up.

DE A.J. Jefferson (roster preview)

SEC experience could serve him well here.

DE Casey Sales (roster preview)

Well-scouted call-up. He could be a Morgan Fox redux.

DE Caushaud Lyons

Late re-add to the camp mix. Would be almost certain to hit the 75-man cut were that still in effect.


Overall

An extended Easley absence would be a serious issue.

A few years a go, the depth on the defensive line was so extensive it could suffice two or three injuries before reaching Westbrooks, and that was a four-man line. Now, a single injury on a three-man line and Westbrooks is the first option.

There’s all-but-certain to be a desperation signing should news surface extending Easley’s absence well into the season.

As it stands, it’s the first major roster adjustment heading toward Week 1. It may be the only one headed thereto. It won’t be the only one thereafter.