LA Rams: Is there a doctor in the Rams House?

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LA Rams News Rams Depth Chart
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Digging deep in the Rams depth chart

The LA Rams have been quietly adding talent to the secondary throughout the season, and it may be the occasion to test the quality of their efforts. But before we dig deep in the Rams depth chart, let’s line up some of the obvious players who will most likely be called into playing larger roles this weekend if a starter is unable to go. Like who?

Donte Deayon for Darious Williams

The play of Donte Deayon has been a bit promising for the LA Rams, particularly in light of the team facing the loss of Williams to the 2022 NFL Free Agency Market. While Deayon has only started once, he’s been a vital contributor since being signed for Week 6. Since then, he’s never looked back.

His Pro Football Focus grade this year is 67.4, a respectable grade for a player who has only been getting regular work this season. That is confirmed by the fact that he has only allowed a 58.5 percent completion rate whenever he is targeted. Whoever takes over for Williams will see a lot of targets, as quarterbacks will throw away from anyone covered by Jalen Ramsey. I think Deayon may surprise some folks.

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Terrell Burgess for Jordan Fuller

Somehow, the LA Rams fans seem to hold Terrell Burgess in much higher regard than the coaching staff. Otherwise, there is really no explanation why he has only seen the football field for 90 defensive snaps this season. In that small workload, he has been targeted three times, all of which have been completions.

Burgess may not be seeing much in the way of action this year, but he was certainly one of the rookies who flashed NFL starting potential before his injury last year. While only seeing work for 90 defensive snaps, he has been the player who has seen the most action so far coming off the bench. His versatility at playing either safety or corner could come in handy in the post-season.

Nick Scott for Taylor Rapp

The performance of Nick Scott is perhaps the weakest link in any restocked position among the secondary and may put the Rams at a disadvantage when facing the Cardinals. Scott is a bit streaky and has made optimal use of his work at times. In fact, he has two interceptions and allowed just 69.3 percent of passes targeting his receiver to find its mark.

His PFF grade so far this year is just 47.5, not the most promising of grade possibilities. But he is scrappy, and much of the challenge is his communication with the other defensive backs. As long as he understands his assignment clearly, he could hold up well enough for the Rams to squeak by with a win.

Kareem Orr and David Long Jr. for nickel/dime packages

The Rams will most likely turn to Kareem Orr/David Long Jr. for extra pass defense help. While David Long Jr. has seen plenty of action throughout the season, Kareem Orr contributed in Week 14, and that was it. While only seeing work in one game, Orr has been with the Rams all season and should be up to the challenge of added pass defense.

David Long Jr has been a bit streaky. Early in the season, he did not hold up well in several games, with the most obvious in a play where he was beaten badly by Arizona Cardinals A.J. Green for a touchdown in Week 4. Since that game, he has improved his play and he will likely get the nod to rotate in for pass coverages.

The Rams have signed DB Grant Haley to the active roster and waived DB Juju Hughes. Haley is a promising defensive back, having played as an outside cornerback, slot cornerback, and safety in the New York Giants secondary before being waived in 2020. He was given a shot with the New Orleans Saints when they suffered a COVID-19 outbreak and recorded an interception for them.

The Rams injuries have hammered the same position this season. Initially running backs, then outside linebackers, then tight ends, then wide receivers, and now defensive backs. Will the Rams be able to weather the storm?

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