The Rams continue to run into obstacles in the leadup to their Week 17 game against the Cardinals. While most of them have been on offense, Los Angeles’ defense may be set to be without a key player.
Michael Brockers now resides on the Rams’ reserve/COVID-19 list. It is not yet known if the veteran defensive lineman tested positive or is classified as one of the two types of close contacts. This classification will determine if Brockers is eligible to suit up Sunday in a game that may determine if the Rams make the playoffs.
This move comes after the Rams ruled out Jared Goff for Week 17, placed Darrell Henderson on IR and placed Cooper Kupp on the COVID list. Cam Akers did not practice Wednesday and, considering he is dealing with a high ankle sprain, must be considered iffy at best for Sunday’s game. The Rams moved Micah Kiser off IR this week but did so in a procedural move. The inside linebacker is not expected to play. Although Andrew Whitworth returned to practice, it is not certain if the longtime left tackle will be back this week either.
Aaron Donald‘s longtime sidekick up front, Brockers opted to return to the Rams after his Ravens agreement fell through. He has again delivered, registering five sacks — a half-sack shy of his career high — and a career-most 10 QB hits. The 30-year-old defender has been a key player for the Rams since being selected in the 2012 first round and has obviously been central to the team’s defensive resurgence this season.
The Rams can make the playoffs with a win over the Cardinals or a Bears loss to the Packers. Given their expanding list of unavailable or potentially unavailable players, the latter route is becoming increasingly more relevant.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.