It just seems as though the LA Rams are the inside linebacker Amazon shopping center for the rest of the NFL. How else can you explain the fact that the LA Rams have now lost four inside linebackers to other NFL teams in the past three seasons. And no, we’re not taking about the NFL Free Agent market, nor are we talking about trades. We’re simply talking about players who began a season on the LA Rams roster who have either signed on elsewhere.
It began in 2019 when the LA Rams lost linebacker Dakota Allen to the Las Vegas Raiders. The Rams intended to sign him to the practice squad. In 2020, it was the defection of linebacker Clay Johnston, who signed with the Carolina Panthers after the LA Rams waived him. Of course, the Rams intended to sign him to the practice squad as well. In 2021, the LA Rams waived linebacker Christian Rozeboom with every intention of signing him back to the practice squad. Instead? He signed on with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Micah Kiser going to Mile High
Of course, that is not where the story ends. On Sunday, the LA Rams activated last year starting ILB Micah Kiser. Despite the ejection of starter Kenny Young, Kiser was limited in his play to special teams. But that was enough to intrigue the Denver Broncos, who promptly signed him off the LA Rams practice squad and onto their 53-man roster.
It’s a wiley move by the Denver Broncos, as Kiser is quite familiar with their defense, is a solid special team performer, and was the LA Rams starter in 2020. And after a rather forgettable first game in 2020, Kiser came out and rocked the football field in the second week, earning himself the NFC Defensive Player of the Week. The Broncos just added him to their 53-man roster for … nothing? Yes, that’s right. Nada.
Nature and NFL GMs abhor a vacuum
Now what will the LA Rams do to fill that spot? The Rams have 16 practice squad spots, plus the exempt slot for offensive lineman Max Pircher. Losing Kiser opens up a practice squad spot, but what will the Rams choose to do with it?
The first thought might aim at the running back position. But the Rams have both Buddy Howell and now recently acquired Javian Hawkins on the practice squad already. But the team may do nothing. After Sunday’s game, the Rams will have the option of activating either Tremayne Anchrum or Ogbonnia Okoronkwo to the active roster, either or both will require the Rams to vacate a roster spot to make that possible.
The Rams may simply plan to use the vacated practice squad spot as a landing spot for a player coming off the 53-man roster. In fact, based on the fact that the Rams have gone over two weeks with just 52 players on the active roster, that is likely the path taken going forward. But it does create the opportunity to give a new player a chance to compete with the LA Rams too.