The Los Angeles Rams are back to work today after enjoying a long holiday weekend. Hey, professional athletes! They’re just like us!
Well we ended the week with the worst of all news: a season-ending injury. DE Morgan Fox tore his ACL and will miss the 2018 regular season. Rough news for Fox and for the Rams. Obviously, we wish him well. I looked at the defensive end depth chart in his absence, though I could have also included the outside linebacker depth chart as well as he was supposed to be in the mix there. Nonetheless, it’s a loss of notable impact.
Fox joins rookie OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (foot) and ILB Mark Barron (uh...various) as injured Rams not taking part in OTAs. DL Aaron Donald is a no-show as well with his contractual holdout Pt. II going on. And while we learned WR Josh Reynolds suffered a torn labrum in the playoff game in early January, he’s been in practice. Hopefully, he’s no worse for wear.
Performance in OTAs is, well, kinda pointless. It’s semi-football. There’s no real line play on either side which means no real pressure on QBs. It’s not that it’s useless, it’s just that it’s pretty dumb to get excited by backup QB Sean Mannion dropping a dime to Reynolds as he did on Friday or random pass highlights to WR Cooper Kupp or WR Brandin Cooks or an interception by CB Aqib Talib or CB Marcus Peters. You ever notice you don’t get highlights of linebackers? Or defensive linemen? There’s no highlights possible for them. So when you see the Rams’ Twitter account drop a video of someone making a catch or an interception, just breathe folks.
The linebackers did fumble rip drills on Friday. There was a red zone session for the first time in OTAs. Perhaps the most important is the special teams work though. For most of the rookie class, special teams is going to be the avenue that gives them a chance to make the 53-man roster. So standing out to Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel might be the most important part of OTAs for the rookies along with just integrating into the team and the NFL environment.