Injured player III: Rams secondary status
It's quite clear that the LA Rams pass defense is not going to win by sacking the quarterback. After 15 weeks, the LA Rams pass rush has just 30 quarterback sacks, which is only an average of 2.0 sacks per game. This was obvious when the LA Rams faced the Washington Commanders, and QB Sam Howell, and was only able to get one sack in the entire game. Heading into the game, the Commanders offensive line had surrendered 58 quarterback sacks in 14 games, That was an average of 4.1 QB sacks per game.
The secret to the Rams defensive success so far has been about the blend of just enough pass rush to keep the quarterback on his toes, and a smothering secondary that clings to the back pockets of even the most prolific NFL wide receivers. And the star of the Rams secondary is clearly veteran defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon.
Before Witherspoon left the game, the Rams were clearly in command with a 28-7 lead and the game all the way down to the fourth quarter. But after he left the field, the Commanders roared back to score the final 13 points in the game.
Witherspoon will return for Week 16
Thankfully, the injury to Ahkello Witherspoon is not expected to keep him out of the Rams next game, a vital Thursday Night Football Clash of the Titans, as the Rams will host the playoff-hopeful New Orleans Saints. While a regular season game, this confrontation holds significant playoff repurcussions for both teams. Whichever team wins will not only hold a playoff berth with just two games left to be played, but the team will get a 10-day mine bye to rest up for the final two games.
Getting Witherspoon back for this one is huge for the Rams defense.
While the Saints are primarily a rushing offense, the Saints remain hopeful that veteran quarterback Derek Carr can find his postseason form. So far, Carr has been effective, if not dominating. He has already thrown for over 3,000 yards, 16 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. The Rams will need the best of every defensive back to win this one.