The trio of upcoming preseason games will likely have a significant impact on the LA Rams initial Week 1 roster, at least for a half-dozen or more undecided spots. Combining the Rams unofficial depth chart released earlier this week with training camp reports on standout players should give us a general idea on how some of those training camp battles are unfolding.
QB (2) - Matthew Stafford, John Wolford
- Wolford’s spot as the QB2 could be in question if Bryce Perkins or Devlin Hodges are able to shine in his absence during the coming preseason games. Hodges made some impressive throws in camp earlier this week and it should be interesting to see how he looks under center this Saturday against the LA Chargers.
RB (4) - Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais, Jake Funk
- The Rams depth chart list Calais ahead of Funk and more notably also has him penciled in at kick returner. As much fun as it would be to see a veteran running back come off the LA sideline on third-and-Short (someone like Canton-bound Adrian Peterson who just so happens to be available), it just doesn’t feel like a move the Rams front office are entertaining. Funk has looked solid in camp and it would probably be more fun to see a running back with some top speed break off a 60-plus yard run.
WR (6) - Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, DeSean Jackson, Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Jacob Harris
- The unofficial depth chart lists J.J. Koski and Trishton Jackson ahead of Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek, but I haven’t seen any reports coming out of training camp that would warrant that come the regular season. Perhaps a standout preseason performance or two could change that, however, I still believe this duo is vying for a spot or two on the practice squad. Cooper Kupp is listed as the team’s punt returner, a role Atwell seems destined for once he returns from the COVID-19 reserve list.
TE (4) - Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt, Brycen Hopkins, Kendall Blanton
- Johnny Mundt “has been making splash plays all over the field in the passing game” and Sean McVay seems confident in him as TE2. The offseason loss of Gerald Everett could be a distant memory if Mundt becomes a passing game weapon in addition to his already solid ability as a blocker.
We haven’t heard much at all about Hopkins, so Blanton’s positive momentum in camp could carry over into a roster spot.
OL (10) - Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein, Joseph Noteboom, Jeremiah Kolone, Coleman Shelton, Bobby Evans, Chandler Brewer
- The Rams unofficial depth chart has Tremayne Anchrum, Jordan Meredith and AJ Jackson slotted for third team offensive line depth. Having 10 offensive linemen on the active roster seems like a lot but it’s exactly the number they had active to start the 2020 season.
CB (5) - Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, David Long, Dont’e Deayon, Robert Rochell
- It would be exciting to see Dont’e Deayon parlay his strong camp performance into an active roster spot. Sixth times a charm?
S (4) - Jordan Fuller, Taylor Rapp, Terrell Burgess, Nick Scott
- The offseason loss of John Johnson III was expected to sting and could still be something that hinders the defense in the coming months. Thus far though, LA’s safeties have handled their business at training camp and Rapp could hold off Burgess to start in Week 1.
OLB (5) - Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Justin Lawler, Terrell Lewis
- Who ultimately steps up beyond Leonard Floyd at linebacker may be the biggest question to be answered in the coming weeks. A healthy stretch for Ogbonnia Okoronkwo would be great to see but still feels too uncertain to bank on given his history. Reports are already surfacing of Terrell Lewis having issues with his knee, which could lead to Chris Garrett quickly advancing ahead of him on this list after a couple of preseason games.
ILB (4) – Troy Reeder, Kenny Young, Micah Kiser, Ernest Jones
- Troy Reeder and Kenny Young are currently starting on the unofficial depth chart and if Lewis is able to survive the injury scare with his knee, I would expect Travin Howard to be a practice squad candidate. If he even passes through waivers.
DL (6) - Aaron Donald, Sebastian Joseph-Day, A’Shawn Robinson, Bobby Brown III, Greg Gaines, Earnest Brown IV
- Nothing to see here other than a solid group with plenty of depth. If Greg Gaines is turning a developmental corner, as some reports out of training camp are indicating, this could be an even better defensive line group than the arguably league-best group that was fielded in 2020.
ST (3) - Johnny Hekker, Matt Gay, Matthew Orzech
- LS Steve Wirtel is presently listed behind Orzech on the depth chart. The long-snapper competition of 2021 just doesn’t feel as exciting as the kicking carousel of 2020.