The LA Rams committed to activating outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo for the Week 4 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, and they did exactly that today. This move offsets the impact of moving starting outside linebacker Justin Hollins to injured reserve, where he is expected to remain for approximately 10 weeks. That’s a substantial part of the 2021 NFL season that he will miss. Hopefully, the return of Obo to the active roster will help replace his production.
The news was reported by the LA Rams today as the team prepares for the Week 4 showdown with NFC West Division rival, the Arizona Cardinals. Prior to the news, the LA Rams were looking at a tight rotation of Leonard Floyd, Terrell Lewis, rookie Chris Garrett, and just signed off waivers Jamir Jones.
The report today has substantially improved the outlook for the Rams pass rush. Not only will the Rams activate Okoronkwo, but they will also elevate OLB Justin Lawler for this game. To round out the players activated for this game, the Rams also activated running back Buddy Howell for this game. He was activated for Week 3 and did see some action on special teams.
The Rams pass rush rotation off the edge appears to be very robust now. So robust that early concerns of Chris Garrett not being active for this game appear to be moot. In fact, the Rams could handle Week 4 with a simple rotation of Floyd, Obo, Lewis, and Lawler and do just fine.
Of course, to add Obo to the 53-man roster, the Rams had to clear a spot in the active roster. As we had discussed in an article earlier in the week, the Rams were likely looking at Travin Howard, J.R. Reed, or Tyler Hall. The team opted to waive J.R. Reed today. But as indicated in that article, the Rams have an open spot on the practice squad, and I would be flabbergasted if the Rams did not re-sign J.R. Reed to the practice squad as soon as he clears waivers.
How effective will Obo be in his debut in Week 4? He was having an excellent training camp prior to his shoulder injury. Historically, he has been used in a rotational role. A big game would not only be a huge boost to the Rams defense in this one but would be a huge plus as he tries to earn playing time going forward.