Will injury to LA Rams OLB Chris Garrett stymie pass rush?
By Bret Stuter
When it comes to the LA Rams pass rush from the outside, there is a calm, cool and collected sense among the fans that everything will be fine. That comes from the fact that, despite the depth or the lack thereof at the outside linebacker position, the LA Rams seldom fail to generate one of the NFL’s best pass rushes each season.
So this season should be no different, right?
Well, the team is looking for the healthy return of both Leonard Floyd and Justin Hollins. There is the anticipated increased playing time for returning players Terrell Lewis and Chris Garrett. And then there is the competition for roster spots and playing time among rookies Daniel Hardy, Braydon Thomas, Keir Thomas, and Benton Whitley.
Only, there is a slight problem with that plan. Outside linebacker Chris Garrett has pulled up with another injury. This time, it’s a groin pull.
The problem with an injury like a pulled groin or a pulled hamstring is the nagging nature of the problem. The actual injury can be relatively short-lived, lasting several days. Or the injury can keep a player out of action for several weeks. Worst of all, a groin pull or pulled hamstring is the type of injury that may seem to have healed but can flare up without warning later in the season.
The Rams are eager to get their pass rush back on track early this season. With the exodus of both OLB Von Miller and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo in the offseason, the team is counting on a healthy Hollins to start, and for Chris Garrett to assume much of the vacated playing time of Obo’s departure. Preseason performances were expected to be milestone markers as to how ready Garrett has progressed towards that goal this offseason.
Whether or not Terrell Lewis sees preseason games is still up in the air, but don’t look for either Floyd or Hollins to participate. That means that preseason will feature the team’s four rookies. Are they up for the challenge? Well, we are confident that rookie Daniel Hardy will turn some heads. But the preseason was the stage for Garrett, rookie RB Kyren Williams, and a few other players whose injury status will likely prevent them from playing in Game 1.
Will Chris Garrett’s injury stymie the LA Rams pass rush? I don’t think so. But it will derail any positive momentum he’s been making in training camp so far. Chris Garrett needs to do well early this year to claim a solid rotational role in the defense. This development, unfortunately, puts all of that into question.