The Los Angeles Rams picked up a win and a playoff berth Sunday, in large part to the play of Ernest Jones. The third-year middle linebacker had 13 total tackles against the Giants, seven of which were solo. He also has 52 total tackles and three sacks in just the last five games alone.
Jones’ big game against New York helped him etch his name in the Rams all-time record book too, as he broke the franchise’s single-season tackle record with 145 total this year. He also has three interceptions, 14 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks this season as well. Jones takes the tackling record from former St. Louis Rams MLB James Laurinaitis, who broke the record in 2011 with 142 total tackles, and then tied it again in 2012.
On top of his impressive tackle total - which ranks him seventh in the entire NFL - Jones can still add to the total with one game remaining, though it remains to be seen if head coach Sean McVay will play the team’s starters for Week 18 or not, as the team has secured a wild card position.
The Rams will have a big decision to make with Jones in 2024, as he will be entering the final season of his rookie contract. He has been a solid player since being drafted by LA out of South Carolina in the third round of the 2021 draft, winning a Super Bowl with the team in his rookie year.
However, with Bobby Wagner’s departure this offseason, the pressure was put on Jones for first time in his career to show what he could do on his own, and thus far, he has stepped up and proven his worth. On top of his outstanding play, Jones has taken on more responsibilities this season, wearing the green dot on defense and calling the plays, as well as taking on a captain’s position.
While Los Angeles has been know for not overpaying at the linebacker position, Jones is making his talents undeniable. Even in only his third year, Jones is clearly viewed as one of the few veteran players on the Rams young defense. Could the LA see him as a future cornerstone piece of their franchise too?