Last Thursday, Jake Funk and Kyren Williams were the loan running backs participating in Rams OTAs. Today’s practice featured only two backs, but this time Williams was not one of them. During Wednesday’s Rams OTAs he left and today turned up on the field in street clothes, with a boot on his right leg, and pushing himself around on medical aid scooter.
Darrell Henderson missed another day, due to a soft tissue injury. So today it was Funk and Cam Akers on the field today with the first team. Akers has participated in both Rams OTAs this week after missing both last week.
At one point Akers took a knee (not in any visible distress) and Sean McVay was overheard giving him the emphatic instruction to ‘slow down on everything.’ Akers then left the field, only to return for the last few series of drills. He didn’t show any sign of injury after that, but it casts a light on the not-so sturdy depth at running back. The room officially has the “i-word” bug.
Henderson is oft-injured. Akers and Funk are both coming off serious injuries. Funk had several surgeries before joining the Rams and now Williams is hurt.
It isn’t time to sound the alarm bell, but it is important to understand just how deep a position group is. Right now, looking into that pool of water is a bit cloudy leaving plenty of unknowns. The great news is no one is seriously hurt.
We won’t know the extent of Williams’s injury until the start of the Rams mandatory minicamp next week. At Notre Dame, he was highly durable except for a shoulder injury sustained in 2020.
There was a good amount of rotation for the offensive line at Rams OTAs at the guard spots on the first team. David Edwards, Bobby Evans, Tremayne Anchrum, Alaric Jackson and Logan Bruss have all rotated in with the first team. At center, Coleman Shelton rotated in for Brian Allen. But Coach McVay has said to take it with a grain of salt.
Leonard Floyd was present for today’s Rams OTAs. Although he worked on the sidelines. This spring, he had surgery to repair an injury suffered during training camp in 2021. He played the entire season on the ankle and waited to have it operated on until the season was over. The incredible part is he still maintained a high level of production. According to PFF, he logged 14 sacks and 54 hurries. Both are career highs
From the looks of it, Floyd’s recovery is going just fine. He was running drills at what looked to be full speed. His level of participation during minicamp will tell a more complete story.
After practice, I had a chance to interview Justin Hollins. He said he was fully recovered from the pectoral tear he suffered last season and remarked that the edge-rushing group as a whole was fully healthy. In this off-season, he focused on tendon stability which included controlled load-bearing, core work, and yoga in preparation for Rams OTAs.
Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill, and Jordan Fuller (Fuller was working on the sidelines, presumably because of his injury) have not been on the field for Rams OTAs which has allowed the depth to get reps with the first team. Robert Rochell, Terrell Burgess, and Grant Haley all saw time with the first team.
All members of this group have been in attendance at the Rams OTAs, likely to help work Allen Robinson into the fold. To paraphrase Cooper Kupp, Robinson doesn’t only want to know the offense, but he wants to understand it.
Notable exceptions to this are of course Odell Beckham Jr. who is, as of today, not a Ram, and Van Jefferson. Jefferson spent most of the day with the trainers off the field and worked out on the sidelines after practice.
Ben Skowronek took his spot as the number three while Tutu Atwell played on the second team. Atwell has made a lot of progress since last season, but it goes to show that availability is the best ability for a developing player, especially in the Rams system.
Bobby Wagner is another new veteran that has been in attendance at all Rams OTAs to absorb and learn as much as he can before the first snap of week 1. Of course, as a veteran, he also brings with him his experience. And he wants to impart that to second-year linebacker Ernest Jones. He said Jones had the skill set to be among the best linebackers he has played with and that he has been open and receptive to his guidance. Wagner seeks to teach Jones the things that he needed to know in his second year.
Wagner specifically said he wants to help Jones slow the game down and not make unnecessary moves.