Micah Kiser return gives LA Rams D huge boost for finale

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Mandatory credit Jg 092720 Bills 1 /

LA Rams injury update: The Rams’ roster just got better with the return of ILB Micah Kiser, and OT Andrew Whitworth is practicing once more

The LA Rams have been getting nothing but bad news this week about players’ health.So far this week the Rams have: lost starting quarterback Jared Goff to a broken/dislocated thumb that required surgery, lost their second running back in two weeks when Darrell Henderson was placed on injured reserve due to a high-ankle sprain, placed starting wide receiver Cooper Kupp on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Well, that changed today.

The Rams returned inside linebacker Micah Kiser to the roster just in time. While Kiser is not yet playing at an elite level, he does wonders for this Rams defense in terms of being the glue that keeps it all together. The New York Jets noticeably targeted ILB Troy Reeder when they played the Rams and were able to score a touchdown on his miscue with blown coverage. Now, the Rams will be getting a key starter back

Kiser back in the nick of time

While some have belabored over his missed tackles, his overall performance in a game is to be around the football on virtually every play. The hardest position in any defense is the inside linebacker role. Complicating Kiser’s learning curve for this defense is the fact that this is his first year as an NFL starter, and this is the Rams’ first year with defensive coordinator Brandon Staley’s schemes and philosophy.

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Kiser is getting better at his role throughout the season. In fact, his performance against the Philadelphia Eagles had earned him the honors of NFL Defensive Player of the Week. And he’s been dependable and gritty, if not glitzy. Since he has a solid ability to defend the pass or the run, the Rams do not swap him out of the defense on passing plays. That enables the defense to manage a far better defensive back rotation when he is playing, improving the pass defense and the players’ health.

Kiser means stout defense

Since he was injured, the Rams have been no better than a .500 club, with three wins and three losses. Perhaps with Kiser’s return, the Rams will remember how to win. One thing that Kiser does bring is a solid ability to cover running backs and tight ends in pass coverage. In nine games, Kiser was targetted 50 times and allowed just 31 completions. He has also been one of the team’s leading tacklers until he fell to injury.

Also, the news about LA Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth is very encouraging. Of course, the Rams will need to earn a playoff berth to reap the benefits, but his return to practice will give the team more incentive to get into the playoffs. The Rams are getting some players back to the roster. That is good news indeed, and not a minute too soon.

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The return of Micah Kiser to the defense is very reassuring. The Rams offense will likely not be playing at their peak this week, but now, the defense can do so.