Injuries continue to hamper the Rams in the final stretch of the season. News earlier this week confirmed that calf strains to center Brian Allen and wide receiver Ben Skowronek “are severe enough to sideline them for the rest of the season,” according to team staff writer Stu Jackson. That leaves Los Angeles down two more starters as the Super Bowl hangover continues.
Allen has had a disappointing season, health-wise. After missing five weeks while dealing with a knee injury early on in the year, then two more with a thumb issue, the calf strain has finally put an end to Allen’s tumultuous 2022 season. Starting guard Coleman Shelton, who has plenty of past experience at center, moved inside when Allen left last week’s game and will continue to start at center for the remainder of the season. To replace Shelton at right guard, the team will choose between backup linemen Bobby Evans, Oday Aboushi, and Zach Thomas.
Not that there was much damage left to do to the battle-worn Rams, but Skowronek is yet another damaging loss to the team. With starting receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson already on injured reserve, Skowronek was Los Angeles’s leading wideout still on the active roster. With the former Notre Dame tight end joining Kupp and Robinson as out for the remainder of the year, quarterback Baker Mayfield will be passing to Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Brandon Powell, Austin Trammell, and Lance McCutcheon.
Allen and Skowronek add their names to the litany of Rams’ starters who have gone down for the year. Here are a few other injury rumors from around the NFC, focusing on a couple teams in the South:
- Saints starting guard Andrus Peat left Saturday’s win over the Browns with an ankle injury and did not return. Peat is no stranger to injuries, having struggled with them throughout his NFL career. His absence, though, puts New Orleans in a tough spot as it succeeded in remaining in the NFC South race with Saturday’s victory. Already down starting right guard Cesar Ruiz, who is out for the year with a Lisfranc injury, the Saints are having to put together a patchwork offensive line. Peat’s usual backup, Calvin Throckmorton, started the game in place of Ruiz. With backup guard Lewis Kidd inactive, New Orleans had to turn to Josh Andrews, a practice squad center who had been a gameday elevation. The severity of the injury has yet to be determined, but an extended absence from Peat would make it even more difficult for the Saints to clinch a playoff spot down the stretch.
- The Buccaneers ruled out three starters for today’s matchup with the Cardinals, according to Greg Auman of FOX Sports. Starting tackle Donovan Smith, defensive tackle Vita Vea, and cornerback Jamel Dean have all been ruled out, as has outside linebacker Carl Nassib. With the bad news comes the good news that Tampa Bay’s other starting tackle Tristan Wirfs is expected to play today. Backup tackle Josh Wells, who was also questionable coming into this week, will likely start in place of Smith. Vea’s role should be filled by Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Dean will likely be replaced by a combination of Sean Murphy-Bunting, Dee Delaney, and Zyon McCollum.