The new-look Los Angeles Rams took the field for the first time in 2017 against the Dallas Cowboys. And while there were several presumptive starters not dressed, several spots on the depth chart remain fluid. In order to cut the roster from 90 to 53 at the end of the preseason, players that don’t have a secure spot on the roster are trying to make their case on the field.
Let’s take a look at some of the players who hurt and helped their cause to make the team.
RB Malcolm Brown
RB Justin Davis
The open competition to be Todd Gurley’s back up now that Benny Cunningham is a Bear could have been given a little more clarity after tonight. Malcolm Brown came in second behind Gurley and ran for a modest 5 carry, 25 yard performance, but fumbled twice. He recovered each fumble, but putting the ball on the ground doesn’t exactly instill confidence.
Speaking of fumbles, welcome to the NFL, Justin Davis! The former Trojan looked electric when he had the ball in his hands. But he fumbled twice as well, losing one. Both fumbles weren’t exactly forced, the first was a hit across the face while switching hands, and the other was a hit to his legs when he went up.
With both backs turning in sloppy performances, the injured Aaron Green remains in play for the back up job.
Starting Offensive Line
New chapter, same book. Todd Gurley had nowhere to run on his 4 carries, netting only 2 yards. The right side of Rob Havenstein and Jamon Brown looked especially porous. This is troubling for Gurley, who was plagued with yards before first contact woes last season.
WR Cooper Kupp
WR Pharoh Cooper
With Sammy Watkins, Tavon Austin, Mike Thomas, and Josh Reynolds not suited up, the remaining receivers had a chance to make their case. The law firm of Cooper & Cooper came up big. Pharoh had 2 catches on 2 targets for 25 yards, including a 3rd-down conversion that went for 17 yards. Kupp went for 2 catches on 3 targets for 35 yards. On top of that, he had the great fortune to fall on a Robert Woods in the end zone for the opening touchdown of the game.
OLB Ejuan Price
OLB Matt Longacre
After the first defensive unit stepped off the field, the Cowboys continued to struggle to move the ball. A lot of that has to do with Price and Longacre being absolute menaces, pushing back the Cowboys line and getting after Kellen Moore and Cooper Rush. Connor Barwin and Robert Quinn likely have the starting spots locked down, but depth at the position would be a nice luxury should something happen to either starter.