The Los Angeles Rams lost their first player of 2018 to injury yesterday as DE Morgan Fox was felled with an ACL injury.
With Foxy sidelined for the 2018 regular season, let’s look around the D-line:
Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, Michael Brockers
Your starting D-line. How they line up and the rotation? To be seen. I’d expect them to move all over the place for Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips to deny any predictive blocking schemes from the opposition. I suppose we’ll see though.
Oh, and #paytheman.
Dominique Easley, Ethan Westbrooks
The Rams have two veterans to plug in at defensive end in Easley and Westbrooks. Westbrooks signed a one-year extension last September while Easley re-upped on a one-year deal this offseason in free agency. So with both in contract years with plenty to prove, motivation should be high.
Could they offer the kind of backup proficiency the Rams had at 4-3 DE years ago in DE William Hayes and DE Eugene Sims?
Played more than 300 snaps last year. Is he competing with Easley at DE or could he take up snaps inside where DT Tyrunn Walker was the primary backup in 2017?
As a sixth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft still on his rookie deal, he’s under contract through 2021.
Framed like a NT. Does that give him a leg up? The Rams haven’t brought anyone else in of his stature. Is the staff comfortable with his skill set, or is it a role they’re not envisioning needing?
Sebastian Joseph-Day, McKay Murphy, John Franklin-Myers
Here are the rookies. I’d think Justin Lawler, Brian Womac and Trevon Young are going to work the EDGE instead of play the line despite being listed as defensive ends by the team. As always with late rookie additions, special teams is a factor in their ability to make the roster. Still, we’ll have to see how they look in training camp and the preseason.
The Rams just added him this week. Hard to see him making the 53-man roster right now though he would be practice squad-eligible.
With that starting three, any depth is just luxury. But that’s exactly what Fox offered. In his absence, things still look promising. The Easley-Westbrooks combo can soak up rotational snaps. Perhaps a rookie steps up into the regular season mix. All in all, not really anything to complain or worry about.
Which is just a testament to the strength of the unit and the roster overall in 2018.