Wins and losses during the preseason mean very little. But for the players, taking snaps in training camp - and especially during preseason games - provides the coaching staff with valuable tape that helps them make their ultimate roster decisions. Suffice to say, not being out there only hurts your chances of sticking around.
For the Los Angeles Rams, Week 1 of the preseason came and went and a pair of potentially key depth guys were no-shows. Here’s an update from head coach Sean McVay regarding running back Justin Davis and outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo:
Yeah. So RB Justin Davis is dealing with a concussion. He got a concussion in one of the practices against the Raiders, so he’s in the protocol. And ‘Obo’ (OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo) has had some different things, it’s his hamstrings. So, he’s coming back from a soft tissue and we want to be smart about that. Hopefully we will get him back out here. He was out here doing some work with (Director of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer) Byron (Cunningham) and those guys. Hopefully we will see him sooner than later.
Davis (concussion), who currently finds himself ahead of rookie running back Darrell Henderson on the team’s depth chart looks like he could be on the way out. Maybe a truer representation of the Rams’ depth at the position would be to slide Davis behind Henderson and 2018 6th round selection John Kelly — who’s behind Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown. The Rams won’t be carrying five running backs.
It’s no secret the Rams’ have been looking for a bit of juice from the OLB position. And for Okoronkwo (hamstrings...with an “s”) - who many deemed a potential 5th round “draft steal” last year - his ability to stay on the field has firmly been placed in question. A foot surgery last May forced him to miss all of last year’s training camp and the Rams placed him on the reserve/PUP list. He was activated in November, but didn’t see a single regular season snap to finish out the year. Ogbo currently finds himself behind Dante Fowler Jr. and Samson Ebukam as WILL linebacker on the team’s depth chart.
The timing of these injuries, for both players, is unfortunate and both look to be on the wrong side of the bubble. The best ability is availability, and the ability of these two to get healthy quickly will ultimately determine how much longer we see them in a Rams’ uniform.