Did COVID-19 force LA Rams to forge a championship caliber team?

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Roster
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

COVID chaos

The chaos and roster upheaval of the first half of the season was nothing compared to the past four weeks. Just check out the number of transactions on the LA Rams official website for December 2021. The LA Rams front office outdid their typical award-worthy performance by handling the crisis of a spike in COVID-19 positive testing among players admirably. Almost as quickly as players were disqualified from competing, the LA Rams were lining up players who could bridge the team through the worst of it.

Talk about burning the midnight oil? As rapidly as players tested positive for COVID-19 and were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, it was the personnel department’s task of identifying and signing replacement players. At one point, not so long ago, the LA Rams 53-man roster fell to as low as 34 players before the team began to sign up practice squad players.

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Rams roster depleted

The LA Rams practice squad, with a 2021 capacity of 16+1 players, was nearly emptied as the Rams elevated those players to the active roster as emergency replacements. It was a dam break. The roster was losing multiple players to COVID on a daily basis. And at some point, even the practice squad was exhausted.

The LA Rams were short-handed to face the Arizona Cardinals and yet won that game.

The Rams were even more short-handed to face the Seattle Seahawks, but the NFL intervened and postponed that contest long enough for enough LA Rams players to compete.  The Rams won that game.

The Rams were still short-handed when they traveled to face the playoff-hopeful Minnesota Vikings. The Rams won that game.

And the Rams had just returned to full strength to face the desperate Baltimore Ravens, who knew that losing in Week 18 would all but eliminate them from the playoffs. And the Rams won that game.