Johnson cleared to play, Rams injury updates and more for Week 2


The St. Louis Rams are heading into Sunday’s matchup with a big overtime win over Seattle under their belt. Now they look to bring their record to 2-0 to start the season for the time in over a decade as they take on the Washington Redskins at 1pmET.

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Starting cornerback Trumaine Johnson (concussion), passed the protocol tests and will play. Johnson had his status upgraded to probable for today’s game. He was a full participant in practice for the latter half of the week. Injured linebacker Daren Bates was also upgraded to probable after fighting off a knee injury. Wide receiver Brian Quick was held out of last weeks game due to personnel numbers, not health reasons. It will be interesting what his status will be leading up to the game.

Nov 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; St. Louis Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The running game in St. Louis may see a huge boost this afternoon as both Todd Gurley (hamstring) and Tre Mason (knee) were listed as full practice participants for the latter half of the week as well. The two running backs are fighting two very different injuries but peg to be game-time decisions. Mason has a higher probability of entering the starting lineup, but head coach Jeff Fisher did not rule out the possibility of Gurley’s NFL debut.

"“I think it looks a little better than it did last week,” Fisher said. “Not that it was an issue for us because Benny [Cunningham] really carried the load for us. Both Tre and Todd practiced full with the offense this week and we have got them listed as questionable for the game, so we’ll see how they are.” (Nick Wagoner, ESPN)"

However, St. Louis will be without defensive end Eugene Sims (knee), and running back Chase Reynolds (knee). Bates should slide into Reynolds special teams slot, and Sims production will be replaced by committee on the defensive line.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams spoke highly of the defensive success the Rams enjoyed last week against Seattle and said they would need just as good an effort this week in Washington.

"“When we’re playing that tight coverage and we’re forcing them to do the right kind of things there, the pass rush has got to help the coverage and those guys can do an awful lot of good things in the pass rush,” Williams said. “It’s fun for me to have the chance where I don’t have to pressure as much.” (Myles Simmons,"

Redskin’s running back Alfred Morris is definitely on Williams’ radar heading into the game. Morris, who had 121 rushing yards on 25 carries in Week 1, looks to be the focus on the Washington offense, and Williams believes the key to slowing Morris is tackling low and bringing multiple players to the point of attack. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is an after thought, but can’t be ignored.

St. Louis defensive tackles, Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, will be leaned on heavily once again in today’s game. Donald and Brockers have been key in stopping the run so far, and helped keep the physical Marshawn Lynch under 75 rushing yards last week.

Another unsung hero on the Rams defense to watch for this afternoon will be safety Mark Barron. Barron was acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay last year, and has now found a home in Williams’ defensive scheme. Williams spoke about Barron this week saying he was very excited to have Barron fully integrated in the system.

"“Not only can he play the safety position, he can play the linebacker position,” Williams said. “He basically plays like a linebacker because he has the size and the strength and the burst to do that, too. And then he does a lot of the things that a nickel and a safety does. (Simmons)"