The Los Angeles Rams placed special teamer and depth cornerback Duke Shelley on injured reserve this week, making an already depleted position group that much thinner moving forward. In addition, Quentin Lake, who has served a prominent role on defense in the nickel, is expected to miss his second straight game.
Sean McVay didn’t sound worried about the injuries thanks to the play of L.A.’s reserves:
“I would say probably not this week,” McVay said. “But again, we’re going to see how he does. I was really pleased with the way that Russ Yeast and Decobie Durant played in his absence. John Johnson is playing a lot of snaps and doing a heck of a job at safety. I thought he and (Jordan) Fuller were excellent yesterday. We’ll take it a day at a time, I’m not ready to quite rule him out. But I think that would be tough for him to make it back for this game.”
Lake has 33 tackles and three passes defensed this season, including a season-high eight tackles in his most recent game against the Seattle Seahawks. In Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, John Johnson had a season-high 62 snaps played on defense. Meanwhile, Russ Yeast played 45 snaps, Cobie Durant played 32, and Tre’Vius Tomlinson played 24. It was a career-high number of snaps for Tomlinson.
Coach McVay says DB Quentin Lake is not expected to return vs. Browns; DB Duke Shelley placed on Injured Reserve.— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) November 28, 2023
Shelley had played 76 snaps on defense all year, but was in on 190 snaps on special teams, which is tied for the fourth-most on the team with Christian Rozeboom.
The Rams can now make a corresponding move on the 53-man roster before playing the Cleveland Browns on Sunday with a potential wild card berth up for grabs. L.A. is 5-6 and tied with the 6-6 Minnesota Vikings for the same number of losses. The Vikings are currently in the seven-seed. A win could put the Rams into the current playoff standings.