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The beginning of the end for Derion Kendrick

Rams cornerback Derion Kendrick is all but out of the defensive game plan

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The L.A. Rams gave cornerback Derion Kendrick a season-low 3 snaps on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers, essentially sealing his fate as a backup for the foreseeable future. There were rumblings last week that the Rams would make a change at cornerback and that was evident against the Packers, as Ahkello Witherspoon was the only player who was in for more than 70% of the snaps.

Witherspoon played 71 snaps (99%), followed by Duke Shelley with 50 snaps, Quentin Lake in the star role at 43 snaps, and Cobie Durant at 22 snaps.

Jordan Fuller and Russ Yeast were again the starting safeties.

In the “Sean McVay doesn’t have time for that mode” article that I posted in September, I noted that Kendrick was a player on the hot seat and now that has come to fruition, as did the possibility that the team would trade or release Van Jefferson.

Kendrick had essentially been a 90-100% player prior to this week, but coaches Raheem Morris and Sean McVay must have seen enough from the 2022 sixth round pick. Per advanced stats, Kendrick had allowed 15 catches on 18 targets and 218 yards in the last four games alone. That’s over 10 yards per target, with a touchdown allowed, and Kendrick has been one of the most penalized corners in the NFL. That includes several key end zone defensive pass interference calls that led to touchdowns.

Shelley and Witherspoon both had a fumble recovery in Sunday’s 20-3 loss to the Packers.

But quarterback Jordan Love still managed to have one of his most efficient games as a passer since Week 1 and Week 2. This is not to be put all on the cornerbacks, it is just how this game played out. Still it appears that Shelley, Lake, and Durant should be expected to get more playing time in the future, with Kendrick potentially playing for a spot on the roster beyond this season.