The LA Rams entered the offseason with more questions than usual. But over the course of the team’s OTAs, training camp, and preseason games, many of those original uncertainties have been addressed. Whether with partial resolution or complete answers, the checklist of what are they doing there? uncertainties have been shrinking steadily.
The LA Rams roster has been a bit of a whirling dervish this offseason, as players who seemed secure enough to at least make it to the practice squad are already long gone, and some players who were unknown to the team after the conclusion of Super Bowl LVI are suddenly thought to have a realistic chance of taking on a rotational role this year.
And so, as we all await the first reports of the LA Rams roster cuts, let’s pause for a moment and take a 10,000-feet view of some minor developments for this team’s current roster.
Not so crazy scenario I:
Few expected much when the LA Rams added undrafted rookie tight end, Roger Carter. Even now, his chances of even making the Rams roster are less than 50/50. But even if he lands on the team’s practice squad, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that he is taking over the Rams’ vacated Johnny Mundt role
After Carter made a huge play on special teams to recover a fumble and carry it in for a touchdown, the Rams subsequently waived last year’s TE2 Kendall Blanton. Were those actions totally unrelated? I’m not so sure. Without Blanton, the Rams will still be looking for a versatile offensive weapon that can block, catch, and line up anywhere in the offense. For now, that role fits Roger Carter perfectly.
Not so crazy scenario II:
LA Rams much maligned tight end Brycen Hopkins has finally found a role in the offense. What is so surprising is the fact that a year ago, he was all but forgotten after the team lost TE2 Johnny Mundt to a season-ending injury. Truth be told, Hopkins was the last tight-end option on the Rams roster when teammate Kendall Blanton came up injured in Super Bowl LVI.
Hopkins proceed to catch four of four passes thrown his way in that game. And that flash of success has carried over to this season, where he has secured the TE2 position. How many more tight ends will the team carry this year? The team carried four tight ends in 2021 but only carried six wide receivers. I could see the team carrying three tight ends this year.
Not so crazy scenario III:
WR Jacob Harris may revert back to the tight end position this year. Far fetched? Perhaps. After all, this is an article that is all about discussing crazy scenarios that are not so crazy now. With the release of TE Kendall Blanton and the uptick in Jacob Harris’s performance, he is a fit either at WR or TE. And with the Rams coaching staff committing to WR Tutu Atwell, plus the surprising rising stock of undrafted rookie Lance McCutcheon, the team is looking for creative ways to carry everyone on the roster.
Sliding Harris to become the team’s TE3 is one such option and one that the team explored in 2021 as well. Will the Rams revert him to tight end? I’m really not sure it matters what the Rams call him, as the team has developed plays that require wide receivers to perform like tight ends on any given play.
If we had suggested these scenarios at the beginning of the off-season, there would undoubtedly have been plenty of skepticism. But sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. The LA Rams prove that once more.