The debate is over. In 8 hours (give or take, depending on when you are reading this article), the LA Rams roster will shrink from 80 players down to 53 players. 27 football players will turn in playbooks and pads, will pack up their belongings, and face an uncertain future. Some will return to the team, signing on as a member of the team’s 16-player practice squad. Some will sign to other NFL team rosters or practice squads.
Many will simply pack up their hopes to compete for an LA Rams roster spot for now. They will have opportunities to play for other gridirons: The CFL, the USFL, and the new XFL. But they will need to put a lot of water under the bridge to forget the lost opportunity.
It’s a bittersweet moment for LA Rams fans. It’s that moment where the NFL careers of some rookies truly begin. But at the same time, it’s that moment where the NFL careers of so many other rookies come to a sudden and final halt.
IV: Defensive back
Dan Isom was fighting an uphill battle from the moment that he signed with the LA Rams to compete for a role with the team’s secondary. He made plays in two of the Rams’ three preseason games, resulting in three tackles and one interception. Was it enough to get him a roster spot? Perhaps not. But it certainly warrants bringing the young man back for the practice squad. From there? Who can say?
He is a solid size, standing 6-foot-0 and weighing a respectable 194-pounds. A fierce competitor who may be raw, but makes up for that inexperience with unbridled enthusiasm and energy.
I like Isom for several reasons. Even when he made few mistakes in the Rams’ secondary, he was the poster child of forgetfulness, often showing up in position and ready to break up the next pass thrown his way. He is inconsistent, as many rookies are in their first NFL season. But Isom has that unextinguishable firey attitude to succeed that has powered the play of LA Rams offensive center Brian Allen and defensive back Nick Scott. I’d like to see Isom on the Rams roster when that all bursts into a bonfire of success.