The Los Angeles Rams headed into Seattle for a tough matchup with the Seahawks in Week 5 a little short-handed as starting linebacker Bryce Hager and backup strong safety Taylor Rapp both were not able to play due to injury, resulting in a 30-29 loss.
Throughout the course of the game, the Rams lost another key player in starting linebacker Clay Matthews. While Hager and Rapp’s injuries should be fairly short-term, Matthews is expected to miss between four and six weeks due to a broken jaw.
Rapp, who was dealing with an ankle injury, is trending towards returning to the field in Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers according to head coach Sean McVay, via Stu Jackson of therams.com:
“(Rapp is) feeling good, we expect him to be ready to go this week and that’s a positive for us,” McVay said.
Rapp has come off of the bench in all four of the games he has been healthy for. Although he has yet to record an interception, he has recorded seven solo tackles and has seemingly been all over the field.
As for Hager, the Rams are missing a key member of the starting defense. Hager has been dealing with a shoulder injury and undrafted rookie Troy Reeder started in his stead. Reeder finished with a game-high eight solo tackles in his first career start.
Hopefully, Reeder can duplicate that performance, as it still unclear whether Hager will be able to go for the home matchup against the undefeated 49ers:
“Bryce Hager is making really good progress,” McVay said. “He had some real positive encouraging things, in terms of just that nerve firing a little bit, very optimistic. What does that exactly mean in terms of his availability this week? We won’t quite know, but it is positive to see him turn the corner in terms of some of the responses, just based on what (Senior Director, Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and his staff had kind of educated me on. I think this was a turn that they were very optimistic about that he took for the better, just in terms of some of the things that came out today.”
Although the news is positive, McVay was less direct on Hager’s status than he was with Rapp. Hager has been having a somewhat quiet season, putting up just four solo tackles. In any regard, Reeder has been successful in limited time and maybe he can continue to perform in his expanded role.