With the preseason finally in the books, the Los Angeles Rams are prepared to move forward with the final 53-man roster they selected for the 2019 NFL season.
After cutting 18 players on Friday, the Rams announced that they have cut 19 more players to get the roster down to 53.
Included in those cuts were Dakota Allen, Chandler Brewer, Marquise Copeland, Justin Davis, Donte Deayon, Landis Durham, John Franklin-Myers, Khadarel Hodge, John Kelly, Jeremiah Kolone, Steven Parker, Kevin Peterson, John Wolford, Alex Bachman, Josh Carraway, Dominique Hatfield and Trevon Young.
Additionally, the team placed injured linebacker Micah Kiser on IR and offensive lineman Aaron Neary is officially beginning his suspension. For Kiser, that means his 2019 season is over before it even started, unfortunately.
Head coach Sean McVay’s decision to sit his starters during the preseason gave the backups ample opportunities to prove themselves. Unfortunately, it still came at a cost for the Rams after McVay acknowledged that the injuries they suffered during that time came at the positions of biggest concern.
Aside from some a few changes on both sides of the ball, the Rams were able to avoid some significant turnover on their Super Bowl roster from last year. Regardless, there were still some concerns about the depth at key positions.
The biggest changes on offense came up front with Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen looking to prove themselves as viable starters this season. With Neary set to undergo surgery to repair his fractured ankle, undrafted free agent Vitas Hrynkiewicz found his way onto the roster as the only other center on the team. Meanwhile, Jamil Demby and Jeremiah Kolone will be waiting in the wings in case any of the unproven options are not up to the task.
There were even bigger questions on the defensive side of the ball after the injuries to Kiser and Carraway left the Rams without two essential pieces to their linebacker corps. While they are optimistic about Bryce Hager’s ability to serve as a viable starter in place of Kiser, this has opened the door for undrafted free agents Natrez Patrick and Troy Reeder to make the roster.
Patrick and Reeder both had very strong camps, earning roster spots over Allen, who the Rams drafted in the seventh round out of Texas Tech.
Although there had been plenty of talent along the defensive line, the time finally came for the coaching staff to decide on which of the crop they wanted to move forward with. Morgan Fox and Boogie Roberts were able to earn the final two roster sports over the likes of Durham and Copeland as the backups to this star-studded front-seven.
Meanwhile, McVay had also indicated that the cornerback group would be a point of emphasis leading up to the preseason finale. Los Angeles boasts arguably the most talented secondary in the league, however, they know full well the importance of solidifying quality backups behind Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.
Darious Williams and Dominique Hatfield got the final two spots over Peterson and Deayon and will be tasked with providing some insurance while taking on a major role with the special teams.
One other big surprise came at the receiver position as in addition to keeping both JoJo Natson and Mike Thomas, the Rams also kept a roster spot for undrafted rookie Nsimba Webster, who shined in the preseason.
The Rams are able to keep 10 of the players they cut on their practice squad if they make it through waivers, so that should be announced in the near future.
Here is the complete Rams 53-man roster:
Quarterback (2): Blake Bortles, Jared Goff,
Running Back (3): Malcolm Brown, Todd Gurley, Darrell Henderson
Wide Receiver (7): Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, JoJo Natson, Josh Reynolds, Mike Thomas, Nsimba Webster, Robert Woods
Tight End/Fullback (3): Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee, Johnny Mundt
Offensive Line (8): Brian Allen, Austin Blythe, Jamil Demby, David Edwards, Bobby Evans, Rob Havenstein, Joseph Noteboom, Andrew
Defensive Line (6): Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, Morgan Fox, Greg Gaines, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Tanzel Smart
Outside Linebacker (5): Samson Ebukam, Dante Fowler Jr, Clay Matthews, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Natrez Patrick
Inside Linebacker (4): Bryce Hager, Travin Howard, Cory Littleton, Troy Reeder
Cornerback (5): Troy Hill, David Long Jr., Marcus Peters, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Aqib Talib, Darious Williams
Safety (5): Marqui Christian, John Johnson III, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, Eric Weddle
Kicker (1): Greg Zuerlein
Punter (1): Johnny Hekker
Longsnapper (1): Jake McQuaide