The Los Angeles Rams have officially placed cornerback Darious Williams on injured reserve due to a sprained ankle while activating offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum.
Williams recorded four tackles while playing 58 of 65 defensive snaps during the win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5. Although head coach Sean McVay was initially optimistic about the severity of the injury, he will now be required to miss at least three games before making his return.
The loss of Williams in the coming weeks deals a significant blow to a secondary that is already short on cornerbacks. His versatile skill set also allowed for some flexibility in certain coverage packages for defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.
Rookie Robert Rochell and David Long Jr. are now slated to take on an increased role for the time being, but the team could look into shoring up more depth from their practice squad. Cornerbacks Dont’e Deayon, Tyler Hall and Kareem Orr would be among the most likely options for a short-term spot in the rotation.
The biggest question is how Williams’ absence will affect the way cornerback Jalen Ramsey is utilized in coverage over the next three weeks. Ramsey has been all over the field throughout the 2021 NFL season, however, he may be forced to line up primarily outside instead of in the slot for now.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining in the fact that the Rams are approaching perhaps their easiest three-game stretch of the year given how much the New York Giants, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans have struggled so far. Even if McVay is adamant about not overlooking any opponent, this is an ideal time for players like Rochell and Long to find their footing over the top.
With expectations higher than ever this season, the Rams are clearly taking a safe approach with Williams in order to avoid any potential setbacks down the road.
As for Anchrum, it is good to see that he is now healthy and should give the Rams some offensive line depth moving forward.