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Random Ramsdom: Joey Bosa may play against Rams, Derwin James out

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 12/31/22

NFL: AUG 14 Preseason - Chargers at Rams Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


“Coach Brandon Staley said on Friday that Bosa has had two good practices this week. Bosa has missed the last 12 games after tearing his right groin during the first half of a Sept. 25 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Bosa had surgery to both the left and right groin. He said on Thursday that he had been dealing with abductor muscle issues for at least two years.

“We didn’t want to designate him to return if we didn’t feel like he was capable of going out there and performing. He looked good in the practices,” Staley said. “What’s been amazing for me to see is just how he feels now. There’s just a piece there where I feel good. I’m excited to see him go out there and play football like I know he knows how and to have that freedom to know that he’s healthy.”

Staley did not say how many snaps Bosa would play against the Rams. The Chargers (9-6) have already clinched a playoff spot, but could still be in position to earn the fifth seed if they win their final two games.

Derwin James has been declared out after sustaining a concussion in Monday night’s win over the Indianapolis Colts. It will be the third game in the last four weeks the Pro Bowl safety has missed.”

Rams have another difficult quarterback contract to navigate (nbcsports)

“The glass-half-full Rams would never dare to admit that, in hindsight, they may have given Matthew Stafford too good of a deal, and that they currently are facing a damned-if-they-do-damned-if-they-don’t decision on Stafford’s future.

Stafford has said he’s not retiring. Why would he? On March 19, another $57 million in compensation becomes fully guaranteed. And that’s after the Rams gave him $61.5 million in 2022.

Stafford is good, when he has enough time to get rid of the ball. And when he has a running game. And when he can avoid taking the kinds of hits that get him injured. This year was a disaster for Stafford and the Rams.

But what can they do? A trade before March 19, when the $57 million vests, would trigger a $48 million cap charge. Cutting him with a post-June 1 designation before March 19 would result in $12 million hitting the cap this year, and $36 million in 2024.

Those are the only alternatives to keeping Stafford. And, if he’s still unable to pass a physical by the middle of March due to the spinal cord contusion that ended his 2022 season prematurely, they wouldn’t be able to trade him or cut him anyway.

If he’s healthy, though, what do they do? Considering the broad range of available veteran quarterbacks for 2023, would they throw $57 million in good money after what may have been a bad investment of $61.5 million — especially as the Rams continue to navigate the rocky aftermath of their all-in, “eff them picks” quest for a Super Bowl win?

The Rams may be looking at another year or two or more of struggles. Why pay so much to a quarterback who is about to be 35? And it feels like an old 35, given the various injuries he’s had both in Detroit and L.A.

The Rams would surely scoff at the prospect of moving on from Stafford, the same way they scoffed at the prospect of not giving Goff a second contract that they later escaped only by tucking an extra first-round pick into the Stafford trade package.”

Rams injury report: Leonard Floyd, Tyler Higbee questionable vs. Chargers (ramswire)

“Keeping with the frustrating tradition of 2022, the Los Angeles Rams have a couple of starters who are dealing with injuries this week, which has been the case seemingly every week this season. Heading into Sunday’s game against the Chargers, the Rams are listing Leonard Floyd and Tyler Higbee as questionable to play.

Floyd has a stomach bug and is uncertain to play. He only popped up on the injury report Friday after getting a rest day on Thursday. Higbee was limited on Thursday and had his elbow checked out, but Sean McVay said he’s expected to play.

Greg Gaines is dealing with a shoulder injury but he’s practicing on Friday and should be good to go for Sunday against the Chargers. He doesn’t carry an injury designation into this game, nor does Ty Nsekhe or Marquise Copeland.”

Rams vs. Chargers Preview: Crosstown Rivals Clash (ramsdigest)

“Despite the Rams officially being eliminated from postseason contention, they showed life in a 51-14 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. It was Mayfield’s best performance in his three games with Los Angeles, completing 24 of 28 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns with a 85.7 percent completion rate.

“It’s been something really special,” Mayfield said. “Everybody keeps talking about the fact that we’re eliminated from the playoffs, but this is a locker room that wants to compete and wants to win any chance you have and any opportunity that we can get. It’s been fun. It is a special locker room, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Since adding Mayfield to the roster, the Rams are 2-1. When the Rams take on the Chargers on Sunday, they will be facing former defensive coordinator Brandon Staley for the first time. Staley took over as head coach of the Chargers in 2021.

The Chargers are fresh off clinching their first playoff berth of the Justin Herbert era in a 20-3 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. It will be the Chargers first postseason appearance since 2018.”

N.F.L. Week 17 Predictions: Our Picks for Each Game (nytimes)

“For many N.F.L. teams, these last two weeks of the regular season are crucial — either to their playoff hopes and seeding, or to securing future draft picks.

The Bills are clinging to the A.F.C.’s top seed, which would give Buffalo home-field advantage in the playoffs, but they need to keep winning in order to prevent another January trek to Arrowhead Stadium.

The Jaguars are facing the left-for-dead Texans, in a matchup that means nothing to most N.F.L. fans but could help determine whether Jacksonville can push Tennessee out of the running for the A.F.C. South crown.

Chicago could be angling for the top draft pick but won’t shut down Justin Fields or roll over for the Lions, while Las Vegas is pulling the plug on Derek Carr with two games remaining.

Predicting which teams will win these final regular-season matchups is as much about assessing their goals as it is about evaluating their relative strengths and weaknesses. After all, what good is a strength if it is sitting on the bench?”