LA Rams run risk of forfeiture, NFL must postpone game
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams, as well as the Cleveland Browns and Washington Football Team, have reached their breaking points. When the NFL and NFLPA sat down to determine the appropriate safety protocols for COVID-19, there is no doubt that both sides did their utmost best to ensure that NFL players’ health and safety would be their top priority.
The hope was that deploying both standard and intensive protocols for COVID-19 would ensure player safety, and minimize the spread of the disease to within acceptable tolerance levels. That 101-page document can be found here.
The Rams flipped from their standard to intensive protocol as required as soon as the team recognized the spread of the disease. For a list of what each level requires, here is a useful chart that illustrates those differences. But with the team at 25 players on Reserve/COVID-19 and nine players on Injured Reserve, the LA Rams currently have just 34 players on the active 53-man roster as per the official team website as of the morning of December 17, 2021.
Rams schedule cannot support current roster limitations
That’s beyond ridiculous. And the challenge for the Rams is not just showing up with nearly half their roster for game day, but due to the fact that new players are added to the list on a daily basis, the team does not even know who will be healthy enough to suit up.
Right now, the team is down to four healthy defensive backs, but still has a full contingency of three healthy quarterbacks. Does that mean that the NFL expects a backup quarterback to defend passes in the LA Rams secondary on Week 15?
So far, the LA Rams have added players to their Reserve/COVID-19 list as follows:
December 11 (1)- RB Darrell Henderson Jr.
December 12 (2)- DB Donte Deayon, RT Rob Havenstein
December 13 (2)- DB Jalen Ramsey, TE Tyler Higbee
December 14 (8)- WR Odell Beckham Jr., DB Terrell Burgess, DB Jordan Fuller, DB Tyler Hall, DB Juju Hughes, TE Brycen Hopkins, OL A.J. Jackson, DT Sebastian Joseph Day (IR), PS Jonah Williams.
Reinstated TE Tyler Higbee
December 15 (3)- LB Justin Hollins, TE Johnny Mundt (IR), TE Jared Pinkney
December 16 (9)- OL Tremayne Anchrum Jr., DB Antoine Brooks, OL Bobby Evans, DB Jake Gervase, OLB Von Miller, OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DB Kareem Orr, ILB Troy Reeder, ILB Christian Rozeboom
25 players in all, and there is no evidence that it will stop there. So when will the LA Rams fail to meet the minimum roster requirements for game day? Is there a limit to how low the Rams can go before the game is forfeit? Yes, and the Rams are way too close for comfort.