The LA Rams face the Cincinnati Bengals in what is their third and final preseason game. It is this game where it’s all on the line for as many as 27 players, many of them competing for an NFL roster spot for the first time in their shortlived professional football career.
This is no mere preseason game, mind you. This is another minor NFL sequel of Super Bowl LVI, a game pitting the LA Rams against the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s a grudge match, a game of revenge. At worst, it’s a sequel to one of the best Super Bowl contests played in many years. At best, it’s a precursor of the two teams that will line up to oppose each other once more in Super Bowl LVII.
To get the Cincinnati Bengals’ perspective here is an insightful story from Stripe Hype’s Lee Metzger.
To get the LA Rams’ perspective on the game, here is a similar interview from Ramblin’ Fans’ Bret Stuter.
We know that there is no love lost in this one, as multiple skirmishes broke out on the second day of joint practices. But that was bound to happen, wasn’t it? After all, the LA Rams overcame numerous injuries and some rather loosely enforced regulations that seemed to encourage Bengals players to get away with a free for all. When the officials tightened up the penalties, their fans cried foul. Oh well.
But that was then and this is now. Today’s game will be played at 3:00 pm PT, as the Rams will compete on the road for their lone travel preseason game
So whose NFL careers may be hanging in the balance? Here are three offensive rookies that we highly recommend keeping an eye on:
OL Jack Snyder (Jersey #64)
With the injury to rookie offensive lineman Logan Bruss, the ability of Jack Snyder to develop and play at an NFL level has never been under more scrutiny. It’s no secret that the LA Rams roster is bursting with offensive tackle talent. Typically, the Rams have overloaded their roster with tackles and then cross-trained them to play at the guard position.
But the team most certainly needs depth at the offensive center.
Is Jack Snyder the answer? While a rookie, he has been getting work at that position. The Rams need someone to cover their interior offensive line. A great showing by Snyder could elevate his role to that guy.
RB Kyren Williams (Jersey #23)
While there is little chance for the LA Rams to abandon a rookie who the team traded up to acquire, all eyes will be trained on rookie Kyren Williams today. Will he deliver? It’s a tough call, if for nothing else than simply the fact that he will see his first live action in the Rams.
If he can put up one huge run, demonstrate an ability to handle blocking assignments, and have an error-free game, the Rams will be content to enter the 2022 NFL season as is. But if he makes mental mistakes? The team may be shopping the NFL waive wire for help
TE Roger Carter (Jersey #49)
How important is today for TE/FB Roger Carter? I believe it’s a make-or-break performance that will determine whether he makes the roster or not. I want to see Carter earn a spot on the Rams’ offense because he offers so many ways to be used. But the Rams are stuck at playing the numbers game, and as such will be tempted to go to the bare minimum at some positions in order to carry more than par numbers at other positions.
A great game for TE Roger Carter will place the honus on the Rams to look elsewhere for roster spots to add DBs or WRs. But, in order for Roger Carter to be granted immunity to remain on the Rams roster, he will need a great game.