LA Rams: Three ways the team’s playoff hopes could derail in 2021

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Andrew Whitworth
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Injury bug

The LA Rams have invested both picks and salary to obtain and retain some of the most elite talented players in the NFL. While that has created a lot of excitement for the fans when the team adds a new game-changer to the roster, it also brings with it vulnerability as well. You may have noticed that the Rams defense was not nearly as stout against the Green Bay Packers offense as expected. Of course, Aaron Donald played injured in that game and the results were less than spectacular.

While a lot of chatter has been made about the San Francisco injuries in 2020, analysts failed to acknowledge that the Rams downturn in 2019 was due in large part to a wave of injuries that affected the offensive line, the defensive secondary, and migrated all across the Rams roster. Even as the Rams front office acted with speed and precision to compensate, the team was simply overcome with too many injuries that happened too quickly.

Even the 2020 season, much like that of 2018, was tarnished by untimely injuries to critical players. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp seems to be injured whenever the Rams play in the post-season. Veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth missed half of the NFL season and returned to play at partial strength for the playoffs. Injuries to running backs, linebackers, and defensive backs forced the Rams to rotate players less rapidly or promote depth players into a starting role. Which each promotion, the overall performance of the Rams declines slightly.

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Winning it all requires the Rams to remain healthy for the duration of the season. That will be even more difficult in a 17-game season. Still, the Rams have elite players who are counted on to lift the play of everyone. That includes Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, Andrew Whitworth, Leonard Floyd, Matthew Stafford, and more.  Can they all stay healthy throughout a 17-game season, plus playoff games? To win the Super Bowl, they need to do exactly that.