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Next man up: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay provides insight on injuries to key starters and who steps up in their absence

It’s possible the LA Rams could be without five key starters in Week 7. McVay hinted at who’ll step up, should they be absent.

NFL: Preseason-Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are in pretty rough shape following their Week 6 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers. They headed into that matchup already down Clay Matthews (jaw), Todd Gurley (quad), and Aqib Talib (ribs). At least two of those three won’t be returning in Week 7, when the Rams take on the Atlanta Falcons.

Rams’ Head Coach Sean McVay has some serious work, and personnel shuffling, to do this week. Aqib Talib has been placed on the shelf for a minimum of eight weeks, Joseph Noteboom has now been lost for the season, John Johnson III is dinged up, and Todd Gurley is still questionable to return this week.

On Monday, McVay spoke to the media and provided some insight as to how his guys are doing, and what the plan is in the event they can’t, or already won’t, go next Sunday.

Todd Gurley

He’s making good progress. He’s day-to-day right now and we’re hopeful to be able to get him back for Atlanta.

Malcolm Brown, as he was in Week 6, is the incumbent should Gurley not be able to go. But even he’s not 100%.

Malcolm also injured his ankle yesterday and he’ll be day-to-day on that.

The day-to-day designation sounds encouraging for both Rams’ running backs, but it’s important to remember that Aqib Talib also was given that status last week and...welp. It goes without saying that they’ll focus on getting rookie RB Darrell Henderson Jr. some reps this week.

John Johnson III

Johnson is a huge question mark, having suffered a shoulder injury last Sunday. He left the game, but ultimately returned to action. Sadly, it still appears that there’s not only potential for him to miss Week 7, but substantial time.

McVay, when asked if it’s possible JJ3 sits this week:

There’s a possibility. Really, he’s got to get an MRI, he’s going to get a second opinion and we’ll be able to have some updates on that after tomorrow.

Is surgery on the table?

I think that’s something that could potentially come up. Before he gets that second opinion, I want to wait out of respect for him and just wait to see what he says and what comes from that.

And who steps in if Johnson can’t go?

Marqui Christian would if that were the case.

Aqib Talib

Still Troy Hill here.

Joseph Noteboom

A massive blow to an already underperforming offensive line. Jamil Demby stepped in for Noteboom following his knee injury on Sunday and was...not good. Demby again? Don’t be so certain about that.

McVay was specifically asked if Demby would step back in this Sunday and another name emerged.

Jamil’s had a chance to play a lot of snaps, David Edwards is a guy that we have a lot of confidence in. Those are things that we are going to work through and we will figure it out as the week continues on.

It’s going to be a very interesting week for the Los Angeles Rams, who now find themselves losers of three straight and injured in a big way. We’ll soon know more as the team releases their injury reports throughout the week. Stay tuned, as we’ll post them daily.