LA Rams pass rush may be top need entering BYE week

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The shopping list for the LA Rams never seems to run dry. But in the 2022 NFL season, I don’t think that there is a position that is not a special teams specialist that would not be considered a need for this team. That’s problematic because just as the Rams did during and after their Super Bowl run in 2018, the Rams handed out lucrative contracts to the best performers from their 2021 Super Bowl season.

And just like in 2019, injuries are decimating the Rams’ roster this year, and the result is that the Rams cannot shop for replacement players from anywhere but the bargain basement. Similarly, the Rams’ underwhelming 3-3 start to their season just one year after winning Super Bowl LVI has tarnished their image to the point where free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., once considered a lock to sign with the LA Rams upon getting medical clearance to play football, is now rumored to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs (4-2).

But the Chiefs are just 4-2, so why the advantage? The Chiefs have beaten the LA Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, LV Raiders, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, all four teams were or are considered to be in the playoff discussion this season. The LA Rams have defeated the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons, with only the Cardinals once thought to have a shot at post-season play.

Rams’ poor performing pass rush

Whether or not Odell Beckham Jr. returns may not be the most vital roster addition to the LA Rams roster right now

It’s pretty clear that the team needs help with their pass rush right now. With six games under their belts, the Rams are sitting at 20th in the league with 12 quarterback sacks. Making matters worse, two of the Rams’ Top 3 sack leaders are inside linebacker Bobby Wagner and defensive back Jalen Ramsy, who have accounted for two quarterback sacks apiece.

The defense has gotten just two quarterback sacks from their edge rushers, one from Justin Hollins and one from Terrell Lewis. But perhaps even more alarming, with the release of Takk McKinley, the team is down to three outside linebackers on the active roster.

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Rams pass rush options

Of course, the Rams have a rookie OLB Daniel Hardy on injured reserve, and two rookies on the practice squad named Keir Thomas and Braydon Thomas.

Starters on the offensive line: Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, and David Edwards will heal and begin returning after the BYE week. But there are no such reinforcements arriving for the Rams’ pass rush.

DT Bobby Brown may help in time now that his suspension is behind him. Hopefully, a nagging shoulder injury to Greg Gaines heals over the BYE and he gets back on track. But if the Rams are going to get more pressure on the quarterback, it appears that the team will be forced to acquire help.

Rumor has it that the Chicago Bears are dangling former Rams pass rusher Robert Quinn and are willing to listen to almost any offer before the NFL Trade Deadline. We also know that there are plenty of rumors linking the LA Rams having an interest in the Carolina Panthers’ young pass rusher Brian Burns.

Ultimately, the Rams will need to pull the trigger on someone. We will continue to monitor the situation, as adding a new player during the BYE is an ideal opportunity to do so.

Stay tuned.

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