The Rams had no alternative about dropping one participant anticipated to play a key function this season, and Saturday they made a considerably stunning determination to half methods with one other.
Shortly after the Rams introduced that tight finish Kendall Blanton was amongst 5 gamers placed on waivers, coach Sean McVay stated rookie offensive lineman Logan Bruss could be sidelined till 2023 due to a knee damage suffered throughout a preseason loss to the Houston Texans on Friday night time.
Bruss suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his proper knee.
The Rams, aiming to fortify an offensive line in transition, utilized a third-round choose — their highest within the draft — to pick out Bruss, who joined fellow former Wisconsin linemen Rob Havenstein and David Edwards with the Rams.
“We obviously drafted him with confidence that he could be a guy that could potentially contribute for us this year,” McVay stated.
Following the Rams’ victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Tremendous Bowl LVI, proper guard Austin Corbett signed a free-agent contract with the Carolina Panthers and left sort out Andrew Whitworth retired.
Bruss was considered the eventual successor to Corbett as a part of a line that included left sort out Joe Noteboom, left guard Edwards, heart Brian Allen and proper sort out Havenstein.
Coleman Shelton took first-team reps at proper guard throughout coaching camp and appeared on monitor to start out the season at that spot. However Rams coaches projected Bruss as a possible midseason alternative, permitting the versatile Shelton to be out there in any respect three inside line positions.
Now offensive line coach Kevin Carberry should develop extra depth for a line charged with defending veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford because the Rams try to repeat as Tremendous Bowl champions, a feat that has not been achieved for the reason that 2004 season.
McVay stated he has been impressed with “incredible strides” made by linemen A.J. Jackson and Tremayne Anchrum. And fourth-year professional Bobby Evans has beginning expertise at guard and sort out.
Bruss isn’t the one member of the rookie class who could have surgical procedure.
Exterior linebacker Daniel Hardy suffered an ankle damage towards the Texans and can endure a process that may most likely land him on injured reserve to start out the season, McVay stated.
The Rams signed Blanton as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He spent two seasons on the observe squad, after which was elevated to the roster throughout the 2021 season after Johnny Mundt suffered a season-ending knee damage.
Blanton performed a key function, particularly within the playoffs.
He caught two passes — together with one for a landing — in a divisional-round victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Beginning instead of injured Tyler Higbee within the Tremendous Bowl, Blanton caught 5 passes earlier than he suffered a shoulder damage.
Higbee seems to be again at full energy after offseason knee surgical procedure, and Brycen Hopkins’ ascent little doubt factored into the choice to waive Blanton.
Hopkins, a 2020 fourth-round draft choose from Purdue, caught 4 passes within the Tremendous Bowl. Throughout two preseason video games, he demonstrated he might be an efficient blocker. He caught six passes for 41 yards towards the Texans.
Requested if the Rams waived Blanton to make room for vast receivers resembling undrafted free agent Lance McCutcheon, McVay stated no. The choice was made after evaluating what was optimum for the offense.
“It’s really about what is the best way to use your best 11 players,” McVay stated.
Operating backs Raymond Calais and A.J. Rose, receiver J.J. Koski and defensive again Jairon McVea have been different gamers waived forward of Tuesday’s deadline to trim rosters to 80 gamers.
McVay stated making the cuts early may enable gamers to be signed by different groups forward of the ultimate preseason video games subsequent weekend.
Rosters should be reduce to 53 gamers by Aug. 30.
And so on.
The Rams are off Sunday. They are going to resume observe Monday and journey to Cincinnati on Tuesday for Wednesday and Thursday practices towards the Bengals. The Rams play the Bengals of their closing preseason sport Saturday.