LA Rams News: Team designates OLB Okoronkwo to return

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams News: OLB Okoronkwo has been assigned to return to the active roster

In LA Rams News: The team announced the promotion of OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo from Injured Reserve to the IR/Designated to Return list.  Once more, the LA Rams defense grows stronger each week. But getting the band back together is not an easy task for an NFL football team. It seems with each week, the Rams have hopeful news that the team is about to welcome back a formerly injured player.  And in the same breath, we hear news of a new player injury.  Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

So it goes with the latest news about OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo returning from injured reserve. That hopeful news is tempered by the uncertainty over the status of ILB Micah Kiser, who had to be helped off the field in the Monday Night Football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  While we await the news about Kiser, let’s dive into the news about Obo.

Obo fast learner

The LA Rams created an entirely new role for their 3-4 outside linebackers with the arrival of new Defensive Coordinator Brandon Staley. The edge rushes must set the edge, rush the quarterback, and provide pass defense/coverage for receivers in their area. While the Rams outside linebackers all can provide everything needed, some players realigned their game playing abilities more quickly than others.  Obo was a fast learner.

And now, he’s on the way back. While that could be a couple of weeks to transpire, it’s the start of a process that shows Obo is one step closer to playing again. That is a good thing.

His return is critical for the Rams defense.

What does Obo do well?

The LA Rams started OLB Samson Ebukam opposite veteran Leonard Floyd. While it looked good on paper, it didn’t stand the test of NFL games. Ebukam struggled with multitasking, tended towards the inside move to make a tackle rather than play his position’s responsibilities and set the edge, and failed to wrap his arms and make sure-handed tackles. In direct comparison, Okoronkwo performed these more consistently.

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Obo was playing well, and his snap count reflected it. He was one of the standouts in the game against the New York Giants, getting the first sack of the season and two tackles. And it was the first game that he enjoyed more than 20 percent of the defensive snaps in a single game. From the moment he was injured, the Rams have sought help at the position, finally signing OLB Derrick Rivers. With the team at 52 players, the Rams will not need to adjust the roster to add Obo.