Okay, grab your lunch, both food, and drink, and plop down in your favorite chair. As of 1:00 pm Wednesday, September 1st, the LA Rams can begin adding players to their 16-man practice squad. Well, 16+1 players, as the team has an IPP exempt player (discussed below) in Max Pircher.
The LA Rams have certainly been a roller coaster ride over the past 48 hours, with a slow climb buildup of the first 47 or so hours, and then a flurry of activity in the last hour or so. It’s just how that sort of thing goes. After all, there are a lot of moving parts, and the front office must get them all spinning in the same direction. When that happens? Voila! A 2021 LA Rams roster is released.
Now that we’ve all had a chance to catch our breaths, and some daring souls have joined us in doing a down and dirty first look at the initial 53-man roster as currently configured, we can rest easy, right? Ah, if only that were true. Another day, another task at hand. The Rams have gone about meeting the deadline for their initial 53-man roster, but there is still work to do.
Some players like wide receiver Ben Skowronek and outside linebacker Ogbonia Okoronkwo are on the active roster but may be moved to the Injured Reserve roster. During his press conference, LA Rams head coach Sean McVay indicated that offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum injured his knee and will likely be moved to injured reserve for a short duration.
Two players not on the initial 53-man roster due to being on the reserve/COVID-19 list – Johnny Hekker and Coleman Shelton – will need roster spots cleared in order to be activated. Of course, all of this will take place simultaneously, but it does mean further roster tweaking.
ROSTER NOW STANDS AT: 16 (+1 IPP)
ROSTER ADDS TO DATE: 16 (+1 IPP)
PLAYERS Lost to other teams 2: Banks, Rozeboom
LAST UPDATED: September 3, 2021, 10:15 am PT
The Rams data analytics will be working very closely with the personnel department right now as the team assesses hundreds of suddenly available players. They are all listed on the NFL waiver wire, in no particular order. If you like to gloss over who might be available, or would like to assess the cuts of other NFL teams, you can check out the NFL Cuts Tracker by Pro Football Network. Spot auditing revealed that the listing has been updated within 30 minutes and is sortable by each NFL team. Some position designations are questionable (Justin Lawler is not a defensive lineman)
We’re about to pivot from the active roster to the practice squad. Why? Well for several reasons. The Rams will begin to fill 16 (well 16 + 1 thanks to IPP) spots on the practice squad.
As you may also recall, the Rams organization is quite active in terms of promoting players off the practice squad as the team injuries occur. J.R. Reed and Juju Hughes were players who parlayed their practice squad work into roster spots to play on special teams. Now, the question is, who will follow a similar track in 2021 for the Rams.
DL Eric Banks is good, very very good, and was claimed by the LA Chargers off the waiver wire today:
Looks like the LA Rams won’t get a chance to retain LB Christian Rozeboom, as the Kansas City Chiefs will do so instead.
That’s the third LB in three years to sign elsewhere. Is it something the LA Rams said?
But there is good news
That is Landon Akers, and he will be a fine addition to the team’s practice squad.
The Rams finally added a new face to the bunch, picking up special team ace RB Buddy Howell who was recently waived by the Houston Texans.
The Rams announced signing 14 players to the practice squad moment ago (11:15 am)
And by midday of September 2, the Rams announced adding another offensive lineman.
The Rams finished up the practice squad on September 3rd
The roster stands at 16 (+1)
Running back (2)
Otis Anderson Jr.
Buddy Howell is the first ‘newbie’ added to the team. Much like last year’s Raymond Calais, he is a special team specialist. He is a 6-foot-0 219-pound runner who saw minimal use in 2020: 16 rushes for 64 yards. Curiously enough, he is compared to recently waived Wayne Gallman, a player we believed might be targetted by the Rams. His forte’ so far appears to be in coverage. as he has played over 250 special team snaps in each of the past three seasons and has accumulated 16 tackles, an uncommon statistic for a running back. He will serve to back up the Rams’ three rostered rushers but could be called up for his coverage skills as well.
Tight End (1)
Wide receiver (2)
Offensive lineman (3+1)
Max Pircher (IPP exempt)
Okay, Jared Hocker is someone worth talking about. He is a 6-foot-6 327-pound behemoth out of Texas A&M. His forte was at right guard, and with Austin Corbett on the last year of his contract, this is wise insurance. His college writeup is very impressive, as is his draft profile. He was signed with the rival Seattle Seahawks after the 2021 NFL Draft, and played well but not well enough with their very crowded roster. He’s got a good first-level sense but needs to improve run blocking. Originally projected as a Sixth-rounder, his draft profile indicates he has starting OL potential.
Antoine Brooks is a curious addition from the University of Maryland. He is a 5-foot-11 205-pound thumper of a cornerback who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 198th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He is massively muscular, originally projected as a fifth-round prospect. He is neither a true safety nor a true cornerback, which creates some challenge as to where to play him on the football field. He played in four games as a Steelers defensive back, getting 23 defensive snaps and 10 special teams snaps. Brooks slimmed down to 205 for the Steelers’ camp and played remarkably well for them this year. Unfortunately, he competed in a crowded position and lost to the game of numbers.
Outside linebacker (1)
Inside linebacker (1)
Defensive lineman (2)
Earnest Brown IV