What about those injuries?
The LA Rams have been making headlines for the wrong reasons this week, as is detailed in the initial injury report. After the game against the Indianapolis Colts, we learned that running back Darrell Henderson has injured his rib cartilage and is not expected to play against the Buccaneers. We also learned that outside linebacker Leonard Floyd was held out of practice with an ankle injury. And finally, outside linebacker Justin Lawler, activated in the past two weeks, suffered a broken hand.
The Rams injuries have been hammering the team at just two positions – running back and outside linebacker. In response, the Rams will likely be counting on newly acquired running back Sony Michel to carry the load. Michel played late against a pretty good Colts defense and was very effective. While there is not much known about Leonard Floyd’s injury, the Rams will play rookie Chris Garrett this week. Since the Rams have not scrambled to sign someone, I expect that the Rams believe that Floyd will be able to play this weekend.
Bucs banged up too
Of course, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are facing their own issues. They had to place wide receiver Antonio Brown on the Reserve/COVID-19 list this week due to his testing positive.
Brown has been one of the favorite targets of quarterback Tom Brady, catching eight of ten for 138 yards and one touchdown. In 2020, he was targeted 13 times against the Rams and led the Buccaneers with eight receptions for 57 yards.
The Buccaneers also are reporting that return specialist Jaydon Mickens did not practice Tuesday due to an abdominal injury. Mickens has led the Buccaneers on kick returns and has been their only punt returner so far in two games. Finally, OLB Jason Pierre-Paul did not practice this week due to both a shoulder injury and a hand injury. Per Ian Rapoport, JPP is unlikely to play against the Rams.
With JPP out, that will likely mean that the Bucs will lean heavily on rookie edge rusher Joe Tryon.
The LA Rams will be home field underdogs for just the third time since the opening of SoFi Stadium in 2020. So do the LA Rams play better as an underdog at home? Yes. So far, they not only cover the spread at home when an underdog, but they win outright. See where this is going? If you’d held off, now is the time to place your bets on the home dog