Rams Sign Duke Shelley & Place Ochaun Mathis On Injured Reserve
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams announced that they have signed defensive back Duke Shelley. In order to make room on the 53-man roster, the team placed linebacker Ochaun Mathis on injured reserve, which means he will miss at least the first four games of the 2023 regular season.

Shelley is a 26-year-old that was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round in 2019 out of Kansas State. He had 53 total tackles and four passes defensed in 30 games (six starts) across three seasons with the Bears. He then played for the Minnesota Vikings in 2022 where he had 31 total tackles, eight passes defensed and one interceptions in 11 games (five starts)

Despite spending the offseason and preseason with the Las Vegas Raiders, Shelley was waived at the end of camp and now gets a chance with the Rams, who obviously have a very young secondary. Shelley will be competing for playing time with the likes of Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick, Ahkello Witherspoon and Tre Tomlinson.

Mathis is an edge rusher that the Rams drafted in the sixth round out of Nebraska. He also previously played at TCU. The 24 year old missed most of training camp and the preseason though so the move to IR to begin the year doesn’t come as a surprise.

With Mathis on IR though, the Rams are very thin on the edge with only four players that play the position on the active roster. Two of them are rookies in Byron Young and Nick Hampton while the other two are Michael Hoecht and Zach VanValkenburg.

The Rams’ roster as a whole is one of the youngest in the league in 2023 as all 14 players they drafted made the roster with Mathis being the only one to be placed on IR. While it may be a struggle for some guys early, they will be getting valuable reps to hopefully develop into quality players in the future for the Rams organization.