The Los Angeles Rams announced they waived outside linebacker Terrell Lewis on Thursday.
Lewis appeared in 11 games for the Rams during the 2022 season, drawing the start in three of them. However, he missed the past two weeks due to a back injury.
When asked about the linebacker’s release, defensive coordinator Raheem Morris explained that there were a couple of factors that went into the decision, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
Rams DC Raheem Morris on team waiving OLB Terrell Lewis:
Combination of getting Michael Hoecht acclimated to position, Keir Thomas seeing more time + being able to get Daniel Hardy some snaps as well. Also less likely that Lewis was going to be active this week vs. previous wks
— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) December 16, 2022
It’s a disappointing end for the former third-round pick as he was slated to take on a bigger role after Von Miller signed with the Buffalo Bills in free agency. Los Angeles’ pass rush has struggled all year, and Lewis was part of the issue as he failed to generate much pressure off the edge.
Lewis posted underwhelming numbers during the 2022 season, posting only 13 tackles, one sack and 13 quarterback hits. Even with Aaron Donald commanding most of the opposing offense’s attention, Lewis didn’t make much of an impact and will now have to look elsewhere for an opportunity.
The young linebacker was a highly-touted prospect coming out of college but concerns over his health caused him to slide down draft boards and fall all the way to the third round. The Rams, who have done well to find gems on Day 2 and 3, wisely took a risk on him and he flashed at times in limited appearances.
As a rookie, Lewis managed to appear in eight games and showed the athleticism and pass-rushing ability that made him attractive to Los Angeles. The following season, Lewis played in 11 games and even started in four of them.
With Lewis now off the roster, Michael Hoecht should see the bulk of the outside linebacker snaps with Keir Thomas and Daniel Hardy mixed in. It remains to be seen if any of the three are long-term solutions, but these final four games will help in evaluating their future with the team.
Los Angeles seemed confident in its in-house options opposite of Leonard Floyd, but the team has now cut both Justin Hollis and Lewis. The pass rush was a clear and obvious need in the offseason, and now the Rams will need to look for solutions once the season is over.