LA Rams prepare to welcome back former starting LB Justin Hollins

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

When the LA Rams lost outside linebacker Justin Hollins, the team suffered a setback on defense. Perhaps a larger setback than even the team wanted to recognize. When he fell to injury, Hollins was one of the hottest players on the defense and was certainly a promising and rising star for the team that had some uncertainty at the position before the season began.

Hollins was presumed to be the bookend starter to veteran outside linebacker Leonard Floyd simply because he was the most dependable and healthy veteran at the position. Some even thought his promotion was due to seniority, rather than meritocracy. But when the season began, he laid all doubts to rest.

Okay, perhaps you need to be reminded why this is a big thing for the LA Rams?

His season opener against the Chicago Bears was a great way to start the new season. He played two more games for the team until he suffered a pectoral muscle injury that required surgery and a temporary assignment to the team’s injured reserve.

Rams roster welcomes Hollins return

Well, he has since healed, and his progress is to the point where the team is projecting a return to the roster in early December 2021.

While that is excellent news, it does create a bit of a challenge for the team.  For example, the team has historically carried four healthy outside linebackers on the roster in the past.  With the imminent return of Justin Hollins, how will the Rams OLB position look?

Of course, that may or may not prove to be a challenge.

We know that Justin Hollins has worked at both the ILB and OLB positions. With his return, the team could redirect some of his work into the middle of the defense, where the team has struggled to show significant improvement this year.

With Hollins rotating at ILB, the team will need to send a player back to the practice squad. I expect the most likely player to be waived and re-signed to the team’s practice squad is LB/DB Antoine Brooks, a recent addition to the roster from the Pittsburgh Steeler’s waiver wire.

Certainly, no moves are necessary this week.  Right now, the Rams will need to designate Hollins as Ready to return. That will allow Hollins to rejoin the team on the practice field, and start the 21-day clock for the team to restore him to the active roster and make any necessary roster moves to open up a roster spot.

light. Trending. It’s time for the LA Rams pass rush to make a statement