The LA Rams mistakenly sit NT A’Shawn Robinson against the Miami Dolphins
The LA Rams finally had the chance to get their defensive line up to full strength this season again the Miami Dolphins in the eighth game of the season, and they failed to take it. After all, A’Shawn Robinson was signed to the team to help defend the run, anchor the defensive line of scrimmage, and help relieve some of the double and triple-teams upon DL Aaron Donald.
That all seems like the type of play the Rams will need to defeat the Miami Dolphins in game eight, the fifth such road trip of the season and the fourth to the distant East Coast. And yet, when the Rams announced inactive players for the game today, Robinson’s name was among the players not suiting up.
And that’s a problem
Robinson and the Rams needed him to play today
Robinson has been mothballed practically all season. While he has had the opportunity to do virtual training with the team during training camp, he’s been an island unto himself for much of the way. As such, it was important to get Robinson onto the field for a couple of play series today to help reinforce his recent on-field training. Fundamentally, the defensive for a nose tackle does not vary much. So Robinson was not tasked with learning a new route tree or a myriad of different coverage schemes.
But more importantly, the Rams need a booster shot on defense with both Jordan Fuller and Terrell Burgess out for this one. Putting Robinson on the field today would be as much of a psychological boost as a boost to the box stats. Robinson anchoring the middle allows the Rams to contain Miami’s running game. Forcing the Dolphins to win with their passing game is a pretty tall order against the Rams’ pass defense.
The LA Rams have chosen to wait for Robinson’s debut. That was too cautious for a team that needs to push their envelope to stay on track. After all, Robinson is still waiting to get his first taste of playing NFL football in Brandon Staley’s defensive scheme. He could emerge from this game with insight as to how he needed to practice for the next two weeks to get better. This was a safe move by the Rams today. Let’s hope it’s the only conservative decision that they make.