The LA Rams seem to find rookies who embody a ton of talent, potential, and NFL-caliber promise. But by the time the team is just about ready to undertake a new NFL season, that rookie’s trajectory is derailed. Right now, the latest LA Rams edge rusher to continue the ‘Ramily tradition’ at the position is the promising Montana State outside linebacker Daniel Hardy.
But his injury is just one of several in a succession of injuries to a young outside linebacker
In 2019, the promising rookie edge rusher was Ogbonnia Okoronkwo who suffered a hamstring injury. In 2020, the promising rookie edge rush was Terrell Lewis, who was battling through a knee injury. In 2021, the rookie edge rusher was Chris Garrett, who tested positive for COVID-19 and found himself quarantined at the worst possible time for a rookie who desperately wanted to earn playing time on this defense.
Rams roster: Daniel Hardy continues Ramily tradition
And now, in another twist of Fate, the Rams face opening another NFL season without the services of a promising young outside linebacker who can get after the quarterback in Daniel Hardy. Right now, the outlook for Daniel Hardy is that he will be able to play later on the season.
But will he get meaningful playing time? In a word? No.
In the case of the other injuries, the young rookies’ absence from the Rams’ early season roster, whether by injury or falling behind, compelled the Rams to generate a rotation from the remaining available players, a rotation that became almost impossible to crack as the season progressed.
Yes, the expectation is that Daniel Hardy will need to have his ankle sprain surgically repaired, and then will require ample time to heal and rehab. He should be back in plenty of time to return to the Rams roster during the season. But what role will he play when he comes back? For now, let’s set our sights on a contributing role to the LA Rams special teams coverage units.
Daniel Hardy is a solid outside linebacker whose future continues to be very bright. But in a case of history repeating itself, it appears that Hardy will follow the annual Ramily tradition of hitting the pause button on his promising rookie season at the worst possible time.