The Rams have made several roster moves in advance of their regular season finale against the 49ers, including placing two defensive lineman – Nick Fairley and Doug Worthington – on injured reserve, according to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com (Twitter link). To fill those two roster spots, St. Louis claimed cornerback Troy Hill off waivers from the Patriots (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN) and promoted running back Malcolm Brown from its practice squad (Twitter link via Wagoner).
Fairley, the most high-profile name of the bunch, was expected to secure a hefty contract last offseason after a solid contract year with the Lions, but ultimately inked a one-year pact to join the Rams. The 27-year-old had played in all 15 games this season, seeing time as a rotational lineman, playing on slightly less than 40% of the club’s defensive snaps. Still young and productive (he graded as the league’s No. 24 interior lineman per Pro Football Focus), Fairley shouldn’t have any trouble landing another deal this spring.
Despite being a year older than Fairley, Worthington has far less NFL experience, having played in just eight career games. He’s bounced around quite a bit this year, spending time on the Rams’ practice squad before being activated prior to Week 15. The Ohio State product saw just 53 snaps on the year, but St. Louis does control his rights for 2016, so there’s a chance he could return.
Speaking of well-traveled players, Hill now joins his third organization in less than a month. Signed by the Bengals an undrafted free agent out of Oregon, Hill was waived earlier this month by Cincinnati only to be claimed by the Patriots, who subsequently cut ties earlier this week. An unheralded favorite of the scouting community, Hill has actually landed in a good space, as the Rams could use secondary depth with both Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson headed to free agency.
Like Hill, Brown was a 2015 undrafted free agent, having signed with St. Louis after his college career at Texas came to an end. He’s spent the entire season on the Rams’ practice squad, and with Todd Gurely nursing a foot injury, Brown has an outside chance to contribute during Week 17.