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Do Rams fans need to be worried about Jalen Ramsey?

Ramsey could be the last star left, but will he be the first to go?

Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

Jalen Ramsey is exactly the type of player who can help a good team become a great team. He proved that twice, both in his early career with the Jacksonville Jaguars and after being traded from the Jaguars to the Rams in 2019. Ramsey is a key ingredient to a championship roster.

But how is Ramsey going to respond to a five-game losing streak and last place in the NFC West? On a defense that could be without Aaron Donald for a while and trying to save an offense that Ramsey has been publicly critical of.

The Los Angeles Rams now rank 29th in points scored, 31st in total yards, 31st in yards per carry, and 29th in net yards per pass attempt. The 10 points against the Chiefs on Sunday was the fifth instance this season of the Rams scoring fewer than 14 points. Now Donald is added to a list of players who are either shut down or possibly en route to being shut down for the rest of the season.

Ramsey has played on terrible teams before, finishing 3-13 in his rookie season and 5-11 in his third year. Prior to being traded in 2019, Ramsey missed three games with a back injury that went away when he joined the Rams. ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio posted this at the time:

Although Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey appeard on the team’s injury report one day after he arrived via trade from the Jaguars, the stated reason for Ramsey not practicing was “not injury related.” Which means that the back injury that knocked him out of three straight games went away.

This would mean that there ever was a back injury. Many think that Ramsey embellished or fabricated the supposed injury in order to force the trade that eventually resulted in his departure from Jacksonville.

Although the Rams don’t seem to be concerned about eventually being on the wrong end of similar treatment, Ramsey already has shown that he’ll do whatever he has to do to get out of a situation he doesn’t like. Which means that the Rams should do whatever they have to do in order to ensure that Ramsey remains happy.

Blame the typos on Florio.

Ramsey has been criticized more than usual this season. Ranked as the top cornerback going into the year, Ramsey wouldn’t be number one anymore. Whether it is Chris Olave or Travis Kelce, Ramsey has drawn the wrong end of a few moments on Twitter this season. A Twitter that seems all too eager for Ramsey gaffes that lead to touchdowns. It’s a compliment, really.

Ramsey is not having a bad season. When a player scores against Jalen Ramsey, it’s highlighted in a way that no other cornerback gets highlighted. Ramsey probably hasn’t had a top-five season at the position, but he remains one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Travis Kelce has scored a lot of touchdowns, Chris Olave is already a top-five receiver in the NFC. The impact of Raheem Morris’s usage of Ramsey and the defense this season also can’t be overlooked.

However, there will be a question of how much longer Ramsey wants to partake in games with no playoffs at stake. The Rams have six games left on the schedule and they would have to win out to have a realistic shot at the postseason, without most of their best players. Ramsey’s level of difficulty would be going up and his motivation would be going down with no postseason reward at the end of the road.

There have always been questions raised by Rams fans of trading Ramsey in the offseason to try and recoup some draft capital and cap space.

In fact, someone at TST wrote on September 28 that Jalen Ramsey’s contract situation could lead to a stalemate in 2023, to which the premise was met with great objection at the time.

I asked other Turf Show Times writers the same question: “Should Rams fans be worried about Jalen Ramsey?”

These are their responses. Note, this question was asked PRIOR to Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But I don’t know that anything happened that was too surprising or different in that game that would change anyone’s opinion.

Blaine Grisak

I’m not sure if it’s time to be worried about Ramsey. However, we might be past Ramsey being able to carry an entire secondary. The Rams need to add some talent along with Ramsey. The secondary this season has been Ramsey and nobody else and that’s hurt the defensive play-calling and Ramsey.

Chris Daniel

Unfortunately, Ramsey is not “that guy” anymore. He’s still very good, and he’s certainly the best defensive back on the Rams’ roster by a large margin. But no one fears throwing at Ramsey anymore and teams are having success going after him. What’s the last memory you have of Jalen Ramsey being dominant? I feel dirty in all the wrong ways typing that.

JB Scott

No. Corners get beat sometimes. I think the Rams are asking too much of his at times. It’s no coincidence that his best season came in 2020 when Darious Williams was playing like a true second CB.

Daniel Stone

Yes, he giving up plays. I think he’s still a stud but it may be hard for him to stay engaged in a lost season.

Randy Soares

No, but he certainly needs a private conversation about play-to-play positional responsibilities.

Evan Craig

I was worried about Ramsey during the team’s title run and he started the season on the wrong foot too. He’s been his usual dominant self at times. Even that has been overshadowed by a concerning level of inconsistency we haven’t seen from him since he got to LA. So yes, I would be worried about him possibly losing a step but not enough to consider trading him away. At least not yet.