Latest LA Rams roster moves point to which starters may sit in Week 18

Los Angeles Rams v Houston Texans
Los Angeles Rams v Houston Texans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

Some believe that the LA Rams should sit all possible starters in Week 18. Others believe that the LA Rams cannot sit starters and risk losing their 6-1 momentum going into the playoffs And a third group of fans believe that the LA Rams can play starters in Week 18, but pull them out at some point like teams sit starters in preseason games.

But there are challenges, risks, and rewards to any strategy. Right now, the only two persons who can sort through it all are LA Rams GM Les Snead and HC Sean McVay. But let's be quite clear about whatever the powers-that-be decide for the team. The LA Rams have gotten much further in 2023 than anybody expected. And it's the 6-1 win streak that has Rams fans involved in such a heated debate right now.

So, the question now is . . . Will the Rams rest the starters, even if just a handful, to ensure that they are healthy enough to compete in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs? Or will the Rams stick to starting the players who got them here, and ensure that the guys who are playing hot do not somehow cool off?

Perhaps the latest changes the LA Rams roster will shed some light on the matter. After all, why else would the Rams re-sign QB Dresser Winn to the roster if not to backup Carson Wentz in Week 18?

Of course, the issue is likely not settled yet. The Rams have a key NFC West rival game to finish out the season, and the more I think about it, the more it makes sense for the Rams to go with their starters.

Still, Winn returning? That is not some random coincidence.

Perhaps the Rams intend to only rest QB Matthew Stafford. But if he sits, then the Rams would surely rest WR Cooper Kupp, a veteran who has fought through injuries all season. Well, if they sit Kupp, then the team will need to promote a wide receiver from the practice squad.

And that is exactly what the team has done before the Week 18 showdown with the San Francisco 49ers:

The LA Rams roster is not built on the backs of veterans. This is a young team, many of whom have not had the experience of the NFL Playoffs before. If the Rams sit young players, that will upset their routines and give them even more time to contemplate their first NFL Playoff game. I'm not sure that is wise, either.

I know that the LA Rams and Rams fans would love to get their losing streak to the San Francisco 49ers in regular season games brokien. And with the Rams playing well, this could be the game to do so. Even beyond the impact of the game itself, there are many players whose Week 18 performance could carry them to setting records for the LA Rams and for the NFL at large.

Sit or start? You could make an argument for either option. But the true litmus test will happen the following week. The LA Rams will compete in the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs. Unless the Rams win that game, there will be a lot of second guessing over what the team does this week.