The Los Angeles Rams have a lot of candidates trending in the right direction. Players are returning from injury and the offense has the opportunity to find its identity in a pivotal divisional matchup. What players specifically exited the bye week with more job security and reason for optimism? Here are five players that saw their stock rise after the bye and five players with their stock dropping.
1. Darrell Henderson, RB
During the bye week, the Los Angeles Rams attempted to trade for Christian McCaffrey. The Carolina Panthers opted to accept the division-rival San Francisco 49ers offer, leaving the Rams empty-handed. The lack of a trade is of benefit to Henderson who is guaranteed to be the lead back in Week 8.
2. Van Jefferson, WR
After two offseason knee surgeries, Van Jefferson is set to return to the field. McVay expects the third-year wide receiver to make an immediate impact.
Sean McVay explains what he's missed most amid Van Jefferson's absence https://t.co/6jHkp150Da— Opening Day Game (@OpeningDayNFL) October 25, 2022
3. Alaric Jackson, LT
After Joe Noteboom was diagnosed with an achilles tear, Alaric Jackson is looked upon to protect Matthew Stafford’s blindside. LA has yet to trade for any offensive lineman, ensuring their trust in Jackson’s ability to not only be the left tackle for the remainder of 2022, but potentially beyond…
Alaric Jackson is taking over for Joe Noteboom at LT, and Sean McVay doesn’t sound the least bit worried https://t.co/FTrzeookdy— Rams Wire (@TheRamsWire) October 25, 2022
4. Matthew Stafford, QB
No one on the Rams offense benefited from the bye week more than Matt Stafford. The quarterback was able to get a week’s rest after being hit and knocked down at an alarming rate through six weeks. On top of the rest, Stafford gets his center Brian Allen and number three receiver, Van Jefferson back.
5. Matt Skura, C
A name that has yet to be discussed in detail is Matt Skura. The Rams signed him after Coleman Shelton’s high ankle sprain. After onboarding him the last few weeks, the Rams are contemplating starting him at guard in place of Bobby Evans or Oday Aboushi. At the very least, Skura has earned himself the backup role behind Brian Allen as the team waived Jeremiah Kolone.
The Rams waived C/G Jeremiah Kolone, who had been filling in as their center as two starters suffered injuries. This indicates more positive progress for Brian Allen, who the Rams expect back this week, and for Matt Skura as depth. Kolone can sign to PS after clearing waivers.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) October 25, 2022
1. Leonard Floyd, EDGE
Even though the Rams have not made a trade, the news regarding LA’s interest in Brian Burns means they are prepared to move on from Leonard Floyd after 2022. The writing is on the wall and Floyd has 11 games to rewrite his timeline in Los Angeles. His level of production does not reflect his salary.
#Rams pass rush win rate per PFF:— JAKE ELLENBOGEN (@JKBOGEN) October 25, 2022
Aaron Donald: 7th among NFL IDL
Greg Gaines: 75th among NFL IDL
Leonard Floyd: 81st among NFL EDGE
A'Shawn Robinson: 104th among NFL IDL
Terrell Lewis: 107th among NFL EDGE
Justin Hollins: 115th among NFL EDGE
Go get AD some help Les!
With the opportunity to save $15.5 million in salary in 2023 along with adding youth and more production at the edge position, Floyd is more expendable than retainable.
How will Rams create cap space in 2023?— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) October 24, 2022
The moves they should and should not do next year https://t.co/Je0zzJdvmn
2. Justin Hollins & Terrell Lewis, EDGE
The edge rushers are not safe from criticism. Hollins and Lewis have only generated two sacks between themselves. Terrell Lewis, a third-round pick in 2020, has not lived up to his hype as a prospect.
3. David Long Jr, CB
David Long Jr returned in Week 6, but his starting spot may not be guaranteed for much longer. LA will welcome the return of Troy Hill and Cobie Durant heading into Week 8. This leaves Sean McVay and Raheem Morris with a decision of what three cornerbacks to start. Ramsey is a lock. Hill is likely guaranteed a spot as the nickel corner. Kendrick may have the upper hand on the outside having started the last four weeks.
4. Cam Akers, RB
It is no secret that Cam Akers’ time with Los Angeles is at an impasse. However, the best situation for Akers would have been a trade following his week six separation from the team. However, Akers is left in the same position another week later. He will unlikely suit up in Week 8 and misses another week as a healthy inactive, which doesn’t exactly build his value in other teams’ eyes.
5. Oday Aboushi / Bobby Evans, OG
McVay might start Matt Skura so that leaves Oday Aboushi or Bobby Evans as the odd man out. Regardless of the starter, both players may be on thin ice so seizing opportunities is imperative.