LA Rams roster is already threatened by new IR rules

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Heading into Week 5, the LA Rams have been hammered by injuries. All totaled, the LA Rams have eight players on Injured Reserve, two players under NFL suspension, one player on Reserve/Non-Football Injury, and one player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform. We delved into what those various categories mean, and you can click this link to refresh your memory.

That would not pose a problem for the team in either the 2020 or 2021 NFL season. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to relax the rules concerning the number of times players could be activated from IR to the active 53-man roster per season.

But as the concerns over COVID-19 have subsided, so too has the relaxed position of the NFL and the use of the Injured Reserve roster. Specifically, NFL teams are capped this year at restoring just eight players to the active roster from the reserve lists. So what does that mean for the LA Rams roster?

In a word: Trouble.

To best understand how this will impact the LA Rams roster, let’s run down the players, positions, status, and ETA of players who are currently not on the active roster:

Rams roster breakdown

Of course, the first category and the easiest one to address in the NFL suspension list. The Rams have two players currently in that category. But as we have the table constructed, we’ll do our best to list all players currently impacted. Keep in mind that suspended players do not count toward the eight-player limit:

Name                             Posn           Status       ETA
Brycen Hopkins            TE               SUSP         Week 6 versus Carolina Panthers
Bobby Brown III            DL               SUSP         Week 8 versus San Francisco 49ers

Quentin Lake                  DB             PUP            Knee injury, no ETA
Travin Howard               ILB             NFI              Groin injury, Surgery, no ETA

Daniel Hardy                 OLB             IR                Ankle sprain, eligible to return, no ETA
Jordan Fuller                  DB               IR                Hamstring ETA Week 9 vs Bucs
Van Jefferson                WR              IR                Knee ETA Week 8 vs San Fran 49ers
Troy Hill                           DB               IR                Groin, ETA Week 8 vs San Fran 49ers
Coleman Shelton          IOL              IR                Ankle sprain ETA Week 11 vs NO Saints
Kyren Williams              RB               IR                Ankle sprain ETA Week 8 vs 49ers
Tremayne Anchrum     OL                IR                Broken leg, out indefinitely
Logan Bruss                   OL               IR                 ACL  injury, out indefinitely

While we try to make heads and tails of the Rams roster and injuries, we see that if the LA Rams activate all eight players who are currently on Reserve lists and are likely to be available to return before the end of the season, the team will exhaust all eight transactions of that type.

If the Rams intend on saving some of their IR moves for later in the season, this creates a situation where the team must pass on activating other players like Quentin Lake or Travin Howard, and save some of those eight moves for potential future injuries in order to restore starters to the roster later in the season.

While we had concerns over the limits to moving just eight players from IR and how that might impact the LA Rams, we had no clue that would become so relevant this early in the 2022 NFL season.

This creates an entirely new area of concern for the Rams and one that certainly bears close monitoring as the season progresses.

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