Rams Release Initial 53-Man Roster

Los Angeles Rams Tight Ends. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | LAFB Network
Los Angeles Rams Tight Ends. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | LAFB Network

The Los Angeles Rams finally released the initial 53-man roster. They had to make some difficult cuts to trim the roster down. The roster will definitely change as players get claimed on waivers and the roster gets even more ironed out. For now, we have some clarity on who will be suiting up in week one against the Chicago Bears.

Quarterback (3)

Matthew Stafford and John Wolford were always roster locks. However, Bryce Perkins forced Sean McVay and Les Snead to do something they haven’t generally done. The Rams elected to keep Perkins on the 53-man roster after he flashed big game ability throughout the preseason. Perkins’s ability to go through his progressions and use his athleticism to make plays was ultimately too good to risk another team claiming him off waivers.

Running Back (3)

Unfortunately, Cam Akers landed on injured reserve with a torn Achilles. Darrell Henderson was always going to be a part of the Rams offense. The Rams also recently traded for Sony Michel to avoid having to hope he made it through waivers. The Rams think Michel can bring a different flavor to the running back room.

Jake Funk impressed the Rams as well in camp and preseason after fighting so much adversity during his career at the University of Maryland. Funk may have a role on special teams as well. Xavier Jones, unfortunately, suffered a serious Achilles injury as well and was waived. Originally the Rams planned on keeping him around as well.

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Wide Receiver (6)

The Rams surprisingly opted to keep six receivers. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp have been mainstays in McVay’s offense. Meanwhile, recently acquired Desean Jackson and Tutu Atwell look to provide elite speed to an offense that lacked that in 2020. Atwell impressed with his route running and hands throughout the preseason as the Rams made it a point to feature him and see how he responded to a full workload.

Van Jefferson figures to be an important piece to the puzzle as well after an underwhelming rookie season due to lack of opportunity. Ben Skowronek was a surprise as a seventh-round pick who was injured most of the preseason with a fractured arm. Skowronek is a bigger-bodied receiver who also has special teams value which is likely why he was kept over preseason darlings Trishton Jackson and J.J. Koski.

Tight End (4)

Tyler Higbee leads the charge here while Johnny Mundt is currently the number two tight end primarily for his blocking prowess. Jacob Harris flashed Darren Waller-like potential as a receiving threat. He is still very raw but he never would have made it through waivers. It also appeared the Rams were preparing him to have a legitimate offensive role in 2021.

Brycen Hopkins was thought to fall out of favor initially and he is likely not going to have a large role this season. However, he did flash some ability as a receiver and a blocker. The Rams seem to be prepping him for an in-line role at some point. Keeping him means they likely already have him tabbed as someone’s replacement in 2022.

Offensive Line (9)

Bookends Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein look to start right where they left off last season (Whitworth before his injury). David Edwards continues as the team’s left guard. Austin Corbett is back at right guard after experimenting with him at center early on. Brian Allen is now the starting center after missing all of 2020.

Bobby Evans was originally going to start at right guard but that changed quickly, he was kept as a reserve, however. Tremayne Anchrum showed a lot of reasons to keep him around including a valiant effort against Von Miller. Joe Noteboom will be the primary swing tackle again this season after a good showing in Whitworth’s extended absence last year. Alaric Jackson was the lone undrafted free agent from the 2021 class to make the initial 53-man roster. Jackson had a rough first week but steadily improved during the next two weeks and ended up with the Rams highest blocking grade in that span. McVay said the plan is to bring Coleman Shelton back from the COVID/reserve list when he clears protocol.

Defensive Line (7)

Aaron Donald made the final cut (I know, shocker). Sebastian Joseph-Day and A’Shawn Robinson will be Donald’s linemates in the front seven. Greg Gaines continues to be a mainstay as a reserve. Recent draftee, Bobby Brown III made the initial 53-man roster as well. He might be a little raw but we witnessed a couple of times what his raw skills can accomplish with a little refinement. Jonah Williams and Michael Hoecht both made the roster with great performances as pass rushers week to week.

The Rams did release fifth-round pick Earnest Brown IV as well as Eric Banks. The Rams had a lot of talent in that group and just couldn’t keep everyone despite their performances being worthy as well. At least one if not both will be back via the practice squad most likely.

Inside Linebacker (4)

Troy Reeder and Kenny Young did not play at all in the preseason. Right now it looks like they are the starters week one. Meanwhile Ernest Jones looks like it might not be long before he changes that. Jones wore the green dot at one point for the defense and displayed the ability to always be around the ball to make a play. His instincts and all around ability will be an asset. Travin Howard is finally healthy and looked like he did not lose any athleticism after missing all of 2020 with an injury after initially being tabbed as a starter. How the Rams deploy the linebackers will be something to follow throughout the season.

Edge Rusher (4)

Leonard Floyd returns after a career year in 2020. Opposite Floyd, Justin Hollins appears to have earned a starting gig after being a role player last season. Behind those two is Ogbonnia Okoronkwo who has battled injuries and is currently battling a shoulder injury. However, when healthy he shows the ability to be an effective role player. For now, he will be on short-term injured reserve.

The same goes for Terrell Lewis who has battled injuries since college. Lewis flashes real elite talent at times and it looks like the Rams are banking on helping him stay healthy to tap into his potential. Seventh round surprise Chris Garrett earned his spot on the initial 53-man roster by being a terrorizing force against quarterbacks. He flashed a real pass rush plan and playmaking ability that was seen on film at Division II Concordia-St. Paul.

Cornerback (4)

The Rams surprisingly only kept four cornerbacks on the initial 53-man roster. Jalen Ramsey is a defensive player of the year candidate as a shutdown corner. Darious Williams is back on a one year tender opposite Ramsey. The two make up an elite tandem that is arguably top five in the NFL. The Rams are also looking for David Long Jr. to have an increased role after losing Troy Hill in free agency. Rookie Robert Rochell made plays in camp but was seen minimally in preseason games after having an injury. Rochell will try to capitalize on his opportunities by using his elite athleticism.

Safety (6)

Despite losing John Johnson III in free agency, the Rams safety group continues to be a strength. Jordan Fuller and Terrell Burgess return for their sophomore seasons. Taylor Rapp is healthy and ready to take on a larger role within the defense as well. Nick Scott is a great special teams player who has elevated his play and become a soli depth safety. J.R. Reed and JuJu Hughes both played extremely well in preseason and led to the Rams keeping six safeties on the initial 53-man roster.

Specialist (3)

Matt Gay Returns as the Rams kicker and it appears the Rams kicking woes are finally over. Gay missed an extra point kick early in preseason but has since been a consistent player. Matt Orzech beat out Steven Wirtel for the long snapper spot. There is also finally clarity at the punter position after it was speculated that the Rams might trade or cut Johnny Hekker. Ultimately in the final hour, Hekker agreed to a restructured deal and Snead was able to trade preseason stud Corey Bojorquez and a 2023 seventh-round pick to the Packers in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2023.

Rams Initial 53-Man Roster


Matthew StaffordJohn Wolford, Bryce Perkins

Running Back:

Cam Akers (IR), Darrell Henderson, Sony Michel, Jake Funk

Wide Receiver:

Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Desean Jackson, Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek

Tight End:

Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt, Jacob Harris, Brycen Hopkins

Offensive Line:

Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein, Alaric Jackson, Bobby Evans, Tremayne Anchrum, Joe Noteboom, Coleman Shelton (COVID reserve)

Defensive Line:

Aaron Donald, Sebastian Joseph-Day, A’Shawn Robinson, Bobby Brown III, Greg Gaines, Jonah Williams, Michael Hoecht

Inside Linebacker:

Troy Reeder, Kenny Young, Ernest Jones, Travin Howard

Edge Rusher:

Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Terrell Lewis, Chris Garrett, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (short-term IR)


Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, David Long Jr., Robert Rochell


Jordan Fuller, Terrell Burgess, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, J.R. Reed, JuJu Hughes


Matt Gay, Johnny Hekker, Matt Orzech

Practice Squad Candidates

Receivers Trishton Jackson and J.J. Koski both made good cases in the preseason and could both be brought back if they clear waivers. Tight End Kendall Blanton was on the practice squad last year and has a good shot of landing there again. The Rams need to continue to figure out the depth on the offensive line. Chandler Brewer and Jordan Meredith could both be in play for the practice squad. Meanwhile, Max Pircher will be the 17th man on the practice squad due to him being a part of the International Player Pathway Program.

Defensive Lineman Eric Banks and Earnest Brown IV could very well be back with the team via the practice squad. Both had flashes at times but were just beat out by a really deep group of players. Inside Linebacker Christian Rozeboom is a likely candidate for the practice squad especially if another team claims Micah Kiser off of waivers. Edge Rusher Justin Lawler was a surprise cut after having himself a solid preseason and John Daka flashed some potential off the edge as well.

Cornerbacks Brontae Harris, Kareem Orr, and Donte Deayon could all find their way back to the Rams. Deayon in particular was a surprising cut after playing very minimal snaps in the preseason. I think this was specifically done to sneak him onto the practice squad. Troy Warner was solid if unspectacular at safety. He was unfortunate to be competing with Reed and Hughes for a roster spot but has a great shot to land on the practice squad if he can clear waivers.

Waiver Wire Claims

It must be noted that the Rams are 25th in waiver wire priority so any talent will take some luck to acquire. Here are some players that I think could be good fits for the Rams.

Running Back:

Javian Hawkins

Wide Receiver:

Dazz Newsome

Dez Fitzpatrick

Joe Reed

Offensive Line:

Jack Anderson

Carson Green

Tyrell Crosby

Lamont Gaillard

Adrian Ealy

Jake Brendel

Prince Tega Wanogho

Defensive Line:

Marvin Wilson

Edge Rusher:

Quincy Roche

Curtis Weaver

William Bradley-King


Jimmy Moreland

Mike Ford

Myles Bryant

*** Shortly after the publication of this article, the Rams Practice Squad was announced and is as follows:

  • WR Landen Akers
  • RB Otis Anderson
  • TE Kendall Blanton
  • T Chandler Brewer
  • DE Earnest Brown IV
  • DT Marquise Copeland
  • DB Dont’e Deayon
  • G Jeremiah Kolone
  • WR J.J. Koski
  • DB Kareem Orr
  • DB Tyler Hall
  • LB Micah Kiser
  • LB Justin Lawler
  • T Max Pircher (International practice squad player, exempt)