In a surprise move Thursday afternoon, the Los Angeles Rams released third-year outside linebacker Terrell Lewis - according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic:
The Rams are releasing OLB Terrell Lewis, per source.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) December 15, 2022
Lewis was selected by the team in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. At the time some analysts considered him a first round talent if not missing the better part of two college seasons with significant injuries (upper arm, ACL). The lingering knee issue kept Lewis off the field for most of his first two seasons in the NFL, as the Rams were very conscious of his workload and playing time.
But Lewis was expected to take over a significant role on the 2022 defense and rotate with Justin Hollins - while neither were the same level of player as Von Miller, who left in free agency, the team thought the combination may be able to suffice. Hollins was released in late November and subsequently joined the Green Bay Packers, who the Rams will face this week on Monday Night Football.
Lewis has flashed as a pass rusher at times this season, but he’s not yet been able to string together strong performances at the NFL level. He’s been outperformed in recent weeks by former interior defensive lineman Michael Hoecht, who has a high motor and recorded two sacks on Geno Smith in just his second start at the position.
It’s possible another team that is thin at edge defender will give Lewis a look ahead of the playoffs, or they could get a look at him over the final few weeks of the regular season before deciding if he’s worth keeping in 2023 - but his time in Los Angeles is now over.