Several LA Rams players expected to return for TNF to face Saints

Cleveland Browns v Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay
Cleveland Browns v Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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The LA Rams (7-7) were not at full strength in Week 15 to face the Washington Commanders (4-10), and in the last 13 minutes of the game, it showed. The LA Rams got the win in a game that the Rams were expected to win. But the Rams lost their best defensive back, Ahkello Witherspoon, late in the game, and the Commanders were quick to take advantage. The Commanders rallied back from a 28-7 blowout to a completely respectable 28-20 finish.

The Commanders were eliminated from postseason competition as a result of the game. The LA Rams, meanwhile, benefitted from the victory to leapfrog several NFC teams with playoff aspirations to land the seventh and final seed for the upcoming NFL Playoffs.

Of course, the LA Rams playoff status is only temporary. With a record of 7-7, the LA Rams only guarantees for a berth in the NFL Playoffs is to win out. Sounds easy, right? Well, let's step back for just a moment.

How are Rams getting so much better so quickly?

The LA Rams entered their Week 10 BYE with a record of 3-6. Since that break in the action, the Rams have played to a phenomenal 4-1 record, and only lost one game since the BYE. That loss was an overtime loss to the best of the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens. And the Rams played that game in a torrential rain, on the road, and with plenty of wind to boot.

This is no time to stop and rest. But it's important to acknowledge just how dramatically the LA Rams have played after the BYE. When we boldly proclaimed that these young but ferocious LA Rams players would go 4-4 or better after the BYE, the pushback in the comments section was not exactly warm nor in agreement. Don't look now, but the Rams are 4-1 already after the BYE, with three more games to go.

The Rams are so much better because the team is so much healthier to finish out the season. The team finally boasts a relatively healthy offensive line (we'll discuss that in this article), and the offense finally has a healthy quartet of QB Matthew Stafford, WR Cooper Kupp, rookie WR Puka Nacua, and RB Kyren Williams.

But what of the injured players who were not able to suit up for Week 15? And what of DB Ahkello Witherspoon? With a short week of practice ahead of Thursday Night Football's matchup against the New Orleans Saints (7-7), the Rams have little time to rest up and prepare. So let's turn our attention to playes who the Rams need to get back on the football field: