The price to the LA Rams to acquire tight end Hunter Long is viewed by some to be very costly indeed. After all, Long is the player on the Rams end of deal that sent former All-Pro DB Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins. While the Rams have enjoyed the play of the 77th overall pick in the 20223 NFL Draft, outside linebacker Byron Young, who was the other part of compensation, Hunter Long has not played.
He was rehabbing and recovering from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for two months on the LA Rams bench. He has been designated as a player to return from Injured Reserve. But the question is, when?
Tight end Hunter Long projects to be the equivalent of former Rams TE Johnny Mundt. In short, he could have a considerable impact in terms of blocking, but I wouldn't hold my breath for a 100+ receiving yards type of game. Still, he is coming back. So that means that the LA Rams have to make room for him.
Who goes, and when?
The LA Rams could wait for their Week 10 BYE to make roster changes. But the Rams need extra blocking for Week 9, whether or not QB Matthew Stafford can go. And so, the Rams could move Long to the active roster to get his ability to block online for their Week 9 opponent, the Green Bay Packers. But to do that, who goes? We have three players who could be given a demotion this week:
Option I: Duke Shelley
While the Rams are feeling the impact of a battered and bruised secondary, Duke Shelley was one of the more recent players to be signed. As such, the Rams may not consider him far enough along to keep his role on the active roster.
Option II: Davis Allen
The Rams may view Hunter Long as a more game-day ready version at tight end, and so in the process of adding him, the Rams may take Davis Allen off the roster in hopes of slipping him to the team's practice squad. You have to know that some NFL team will claim him off waivers, so that may not be the wise move here.
Option I: Troy Reeder
The LA Rams started off the season by pulling veteran ILB Troy Reeder off the practice squad and onto the active roster. Since that time, he has served exclusively as a special teams specialist. If the Rams need a roster slot, The Rams have reasonable expectations that Troy Reeder could slip to their practice squad. And if he is claimed by another team, the Rams could direct Hunter Long into special teams in his wake.
In the end, the LA Rams may feel that Hunter Long is vital to their chances in Week 9. The problem now is that the Rams have so many plates spinning in terms of developing young players that they run the risk of losing someone who could be a solid contributor to do so.
Who do you believe the Rams should waive to make room for Hunter Long? Or do you believe that Long's return can happen during the BYE? Let us know on our Facebook page comments section. And thanks for reading.