Look for Rams to welcome back a host of starters this week, and just in the nick of time

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams, Puka Nacua, Tyler Higbee, Rob Havenstein, Kevin Dotson
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams, Puka Nacua, Tyler Higbee, Rob Havenstein, Kevin Dotson / Harry How/GettyImages

When the LA Rams travelled to face the struggling Green Bay Packers in Week 9, the team was not exactly at full strength. Besides a number of players on Injured Reserve, the Rams had to compete without starting right tackle Rob Havenstein, inside linebacker Ernest Jones, and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

For LA Rams fans, the top priority is the return of starting quarterback Matthew Stafford. He was unable to suit up for Week 9 with a swollen and sore thumb on his throwing hand. In his place, the Rams started backup quarterback Brett Rypien. Rypien struggled so much in Week 9 that the Rams outright cut him from the roster, and promptly signed veteran quarterback Carson Wentz to the Rams roster.

QB Brett Rypien has subsequently signed with the Seattle Seahawks, the Rams' upcoming opponent in Week 11. While it's very unlikely that the Rams will face Rypien, the Rams' offense is expected to have Stafford under center once more. That is a huge boost for a Rams offense that has struggled, at times, to put up points this season.

But the Rams are also anticipating the return of starting right tackle Rob Havenstein and inside linebacker Ernest Jones. Their return will bring the Rams roster nearly back to full strength.

That is very important for the LA Rams, as their Week 11 game is sizing up to be vital to any hopes for this Rams team to compete in postseason play. In nine games played this season, the Rams have only two wins against teams with records of .500 or better. The Rams defeated the 6-3 Seattle Seahawks in Week 1. The Rams also have a win against the Indianapolis Colts, who are currently 5-5.

But the Week 11 game is pivotal, as there is no return from whichever direction the Rams take in this game. If the Rams lose, they fall to 3-7, and lose every tiebreaker with every good team in the NFC. A loss all but ensures that the Rams will need to turn all attention to the 2024 NFL Draft to get better. If they win, the LA Rams have a chance to get hot and make a late playoff push.

If the Rams win? They could get red hot. If the Rams lose? The best that the team can hope for is to play spoiler for other NFL teams' playoff hopes. Meanwhile, the Rams front office can begin to scout college ranks for the optimal rookies to select in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Yes, key players on the Rams roster are getting healthy again. Will it matter? We won't really know the answer until the Rams compete in Week 11. The Rams have just one win in four tries at SoFi Stadium.

It's time for the Rams to start winning some games at home.