Con: The LA Rams cannot afford injuries to key players
While much has been said about the shortcomings of the LA Rams quarterback in 2020, almost nothing is being discussed about several key injuries that truly derailed the Rams’ hopes to compete in the Super Bowl last season. Those injuries eventually proved insurmountable when the Rams entered the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, inside linebacker Micah Kiser, safety Taylor Rapp, and even kicker Matt Gay were injured in the LA Rams win over the Seattle Seahawks on November 15, 2020. Whitworth would not return for the remainder of the regular season. Starting quarterback Jared Goff was injured against the rematch against the same Seahawks on December 27, 2020. By the time the Rams suited up to play the Arizona Cardinals in a must-win season finale, the team had also lost the play of wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive tackle Michael Brockers due to positive testing and proximity protocols of COVID-19.
Whitworth would return, at partial health, to take on the Seahawks for the third game in the NFL Playoffs, but the team would be decimated with injuries once more as starting quarterback John Wolford, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, left guard David Edwards, and wide receiver Cooper Kupp were all injured in the game.
Those are tremendous shoes to fill on the fly as the Rams continued to travel on the road. And it was that combination of not-playing injured, playing but not at full health, and starting but not truly comfortable in their new role that became too much for the team to overcome. Unfortunately, the LA Rams did nothing to fix that vulnerability in 2021. In fact, with the exodus of Austin Blythe, Troy Hill, Josh Reynolds, Gerald Everett, and John Johnson III, the LA Rams may be even more vulnerable to a dramatic drop of play if they suffer multiple injuries this season.