The LA Rams are making final preparations for training camp to determine who will make it to the 53-man final roster
The LA Rams may be more fortunate than many NFL teams. After all, the persistent wave of injuries to the team in 2019 pushed many of the team’s starters to the injured reserve roster. That gave the team reason to add players to the active roster. While that was one of the key contributors for the Rams’ failure to make the 2019 NFL Playoffs, turnabout is fair play. So it’s a well-deserved consolation prize for the same Rams roster to welcome back so many experienced players to the roster this season.
Of course, that added experience means nothing if those players cannot earn their roster spots this year. Once there, their performance will need to reflect the experience that came at such a costly expense from a year ago. Whew! That’s saying quite a bit. Said another way, I think the Rams must commit the first depth chart to emphasize veteran experience. Perhaps some young players will earn significant snaps or even a starting role more quickly than others. But in this zany 2020, even a sure-fire starter like running back Cam Akers may not get the lion’s share of the starting snaps in game one.
Roster rules revised
On the other hand, the NFL has changed the roster rules this year, somewhat dramatically. The team now has 16 roster spots on the practice squad to compliment the 53-man roster. And on any given week, the Rams can promote two players from the practice squad to the active roster. Those players can be sent down to the practice squad twice without the added hoop of clearing waivers. Of course, on the third call-up, the player will need to clear waivers before resigning with the team’s practice squad. Also, the team can protect up to four players on their practice squad from being poached by other teams.
That “protection” is the most interesting. At first, I was certain of the Rams’ need to carry three quarterbacks on the active roster. Now? I’m not so sure. The Rams could carry both Jared Goff and John Wolford on the 53-man roster, and protect either Bryce Perkins or Josh Love on the practice squad to ensure three quarterbacks are available at all times. So where are the roster battles? Well, there most certainly will be quite a few, many carrying over into the season. But with the NFL giving the green light to the football season, we are at a point of predicting who makes the initial 53-man roster. So here we go, with no benefit of coach feedback or training camp performances.