The 2022 season hasn’t gone according to plans for the Los Angeles Rams, at least not yet.
The offensive line and secondary have been depleted time and time again by injury, but the good news is that help is on the way.
If the Rams can pick up a win against the Carolina Panthers with Jeremiah Kolone and Bobby Evans starting on the interior line this week, their Week 7 bye will allow time for healing. Center Brian Allen is nearing a return after suffering an injury in Week 1. Rookie RB Kyren Williams seems primed for a big role, especially considering the ongoing situation with Cam Akers. Defensive backs David Long and Taylor Rapp seem ready to return this week - and Cobie Durant will soon follow them.
And perhaps the most notable reinforcement of all is Van Jefferson, who has yet to play this season after re-aggravating his knee injury from a year ago. The Rams have sorely missed Jefferson’s ability to stretch the field, though the struggles along the offensive line also limits their ability to take such shots.
This is a cannot lose scenario for Los Angeles - they need to get back to .500, which sets up a crucial showdown against their division rival San Francisco 49ers in Week 8. Fortunately, the Rams are in a position to be as close to full force as they realistically could be heading into that game.
The opportunity is immense, but LA cannot get ahead of itself - they first have to beat a desperate Panthers team here in Week 6.
Blaine Grisak and JB Scott are back with another installment of Last Minute Thoughts, where they break down everything you need to know 24 hours ahead of this all important matchup.
The duo also give their thoughts on potential trade deadline targets. Do the Rams really need to acquire a running back with Kyren Williams working his way back? Could Los Angeles be facing a future teammate in Brian Burns when they take the field this weekend?
It’s difficult to discern exactly who this 2022 Rams team truly is, but it’s a fair assessment to say they will look a lot different in Week 18 than they do right now - and it’s even more difficult to imagine them being worse later in the season.
A 3-3 record would give the Rams a fresh start to the season, but victory won’t come easy.