LA Rams injury update: Team future depends on health of LB Micah Kiser

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams injury update: The team has placed ILB Micah Kiser on IR. How the team can endure with just 2 ILBs for the remainder of the season?

The LA Rams made the decision to place their starting inside linebacker on injured reserve. And then there were two. Yes, we are talking about a 3-4 defense, and the fact that the Rams are now down to just two healthy players. Is it a good reason to be concerned?

In a word, yes. Let’s be real. The Rams can discuss ways of lightening the load, reconfiguring the defense into a hybrid 3-4 that looks, sounds, and even smells like a 4-3 defense. The Rams can go with a nickel, dime, or 5-1 look. But no matter how the team shakes this one out, this is a problem. It’s no longer a symptom of bad things to come. We’re there. And now, the team must find a solution to a problem that they’ve ignored all season long.

Downward Spiral

The pattern of wearing out players in this defense to the breaking point, putting them on the bench to rest up, and then throwing them back out there to face reinjury is a downward spiral. But the question is, why?   After all, the Rams have a 3-4 defense, and it’s a season filled with more risks than ever. There is the risk of both injury, a positive COVID-19 test, or even being in the proximity of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

And at inside linebacker, you play close to everyone. So it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens. And with the latest news about Micah Kiser, that time is now up. Unfortunately, the injury is a ‘banged-up knee’.  Rams fans know that term was used to describe several injuries in the past that proved to be more serious than originally described.

Proactive, gamble, foolish

The Rams are rolling more than dice on this one. Right now, the gamble is not paying off. This is the second time that the team must play without their leading tackler anchoring the middle.  The last time, the Rams put Troy Reeder into a position to succeed by eliminating his pass coverage responsibilities and rushed him at the quarterback. But how long can the Rams count on the element of surprise?

Kiser is the teams leading tackler with 77 tackles so far this season. He’s on track for a 120 tackle season, or rather would be if he remained healthy. So the Rams must replace that production on defense.  The likely result is more tackles from the secondary. But unless those tackles happen at the line of scrimmage, that will mean more yards allowed on defense.

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The Rams saw this coming. They had to. We did. And yet, here we are, right where we feared we would end up. The Rams were not proactive this time. And no, this cannot even be described as a gamble that didn’t pay off. This was a very foolish miscalculation. And the Rams need to correct it before suffering the consequences.