Rams News: Travin Howard To Miss Season With Torn Meniscus
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams suffered their first major casualty of training camp after head coach Sean McVay announced that linebacker Travin Howard will miss the entire 2020 NFL season with a torn meniscus.

Howard made his bones as a former practice squad member and wound up finishing the 2019 campaign with 19 total tackles and three pass breakups. The former seventh-round pick managed to build on it by establishing himself as the starter alongside linebacker Micah Kiser for the majority of training camp.

Although losing Howard leaves a notable void to fill in the linebacker corps, McVay is confident in the talent at their disposal, via Stu Jackson of the team’s official website:

“It’s really unfortunate for a guy that’s put in a lot of work, put himself in position to be a huge impact player for us,” McVay said. “I have total trust that he’ll come back stronger and continue to be a big part of our organization moving forward but guys will be asked to step up in his absence.”

McVay added that it will be a two-man race between linebackers Kenny Young and Troy Reeder to take Howard’s starting spot:

“We’ve talked about those three guys, when you look at Micah, Kenny (Young) and Troy Reeder,” McVay said. “Those guys have done a nice job. Really, when you add in T-Howard, those four have played really good football throughout.”

Los Angeles already had some major concerns with their depth at linebacker throughout the offseason. Despite McVay’s optimism about the “next man up” mentality, it remains to be seen if any of these untested options can emerge as viable starters.

The lack of a preseason certainly did not do the Rams any favors since it robbed them of an opportunity to evaluate these players in a real game. Fortunately, there have been some that managed to turn heads in training camp.

Young has made quite an impression on the coaching staff since taking over first-team reps in Howard’s absence. It is safe to say that being able to spend a full offseason in the system has helped pay huge dividends following his acquisition last season.

Regardless, there is no question that the depth on the inside will remain as the biggest question mark for Los Angeles with Reeder next in line to take over. It will be interesting to see if McVay and general manager Les Snead look to bring in some more experience with the start o the season still weeks away.