With a win in Week 4, the LA Rams can seize control of the NFC West and begin the process of pulling away from the rest of the division. If the team gets victories in each of the next two weeks, that will give the Rams a 2-0 record in the very competitive NFC West, at least a one-game over the Arizona Cardinals, and will place them in the ballpark of just needing just seven wins to earn a berth in the upcoming NFL Playoffs. A very nice spot to be at indeed.
One game at a time, one win at a time. Nothing too crazy. No looking past this week’s opponent.
If the LA Rams want to defend their home turf this weekend, they will need another strong performance from all three phases. The defense, special teams, and offense. To do well on offense, the Rams may wish to emphasize the run a bit more than usual. So far this season, the Arizona Cardinals have defended the pass fairly well. But the running game? They are not nearly as adept at stopping running backs.
Fortunately, this game will not rest entirely upon the shoulders of running back Sony Michel. Here is who is listed for Week 4 on the LA Rams official injury report. Of course, Rams head coach Sean McVay has already committed to having Henderson active for Week 4.
How much will the Rams use him? That is a different story altogether.
- RB Darrell Henderson- ribs
- WR Tutu Atwell – illness
Henderson was out last week, forcing the Rams to reroute their rushing attack through recently acquired veteran running back Sony Michel. Michel was more than up to the challenge, as he was phenomenal in performing everything asked of him in Week 3. I expect that he will open the game this week.
If he does well, Henderson will get more rest. But if he struggles, the Rams could elect to try Henderson to see how he might fare against the Cardinals’ defense.
Tutu Atwell has been the team’s primary punt returner. If he is unable to go in this game, the Rams may allow DeSean Jackson to return punts. DJacc has returned punts throughout his career, and his speed makes him very dangerous in that role.
- OT Kelvin Beachum – ribs
- OL Justin Murray – back
- OL Justin Pugh – back
The Arizona Cardinals may be without their right offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum. He was ruled out in Week 3. If Beachum cannot suit up for the Rams, the role would likely fall to second-year offensive lineman Josh Jones. Jones began the season as the Cardinals starting right guard. If he kicks out to tackle, veteran Justin Murray would likely take over at right guard if available. If neither can suit up? Well then, things will get interesting.
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury indicated that both Justin Murray and Justin Pugh would be game-time decisions. Kingsbury did not rule out playing Beachum. That would seem to be a bit myopic in this 17-game season.
Even if all three linemen suit up for the Cardinals, the nagging injuries to two starting offensive linemen certainly are worth noting against the LA Rams defensive front, currently part of the second-ranked defense in the NFL per Sportsnaut.com.
Updates on Rams PR Tutu Atwell and the Cardinals offensive linemen will be announced before the game kickoff set for 1:05 pm PT