Rams News: Ernest Jones Breaks James Laurinaitis’ Franchise Record For Tackles In Season
Ernest Jones, Rams
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams figured out early in the career of linebacker Ernest Jone that they had potentially struck gold on the third-round pick out of South Carolina. He was a regular contributor during his rookie campaign — a Super Bowl season for L.A. — and only expanded his skillset further in his second year.

Enter 2023, and Jones was tasked with not only being one of the most reliable defensive players on the roster, but was also named a captain for the season. He has started in 15 out of 16 games for L.A. and has been a force on a young and hungry Rams defense.

Jones recorded 13 tackles — seven solo, six combined — against the New York Giants in Week 17 to give him 145 tackles on the season. This number is impressive without context, but it also places him in the history books of the Rams franchise:

The record was previously held by James Laurinaitis, who recorded 142 tackles in both 2011 and 2012. Jones had already more than established himself as a cornerstone piece on the Rams defense, but this certainly solidifies his place for the foreseeable future.

The Rams were hopeful that the 2023 season would give them a clue as to who they can build their defense around in the years to come. By breaking this record, Jones is an obvious choice, as he helped to anchor a defense that ranked 12th against the run despite very low expectations entering the 2023 season.

Jones has one more year under contract with the Rams before hitting free agency in the summer of 2025, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams lock down their new record-holder for tackles in a season.

Rams WR Puka Nacua on verge of setting rookie receiving records

Rams rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua is very close to joining the ranks of NFL history with his production during his first NFL campaign. Nacua has the chance to break both the all-time record for receptions and receiving yards in a rookie season. He currently has 101 catches on the year, four away from surpassing Jaylen Waddle’s 2021 total of 104.

Nacua also has 1,445 receiving yards, 29 away from surpassing the 1,473 yards collected by Bill Groman in 1960. If he’s able to do both, he could earn himself an outside chance at the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, currently favored to win by Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud.