Miller is now eligible to play tonight against the Seahawks, but the Rams will still be playing without several key starters. Right tackle Rob Havenstein, tight end Tyler Higbee, and strong safety Jordan Fuller were not able to test out of protocol, so they’ll be watching from a distance.
Miller, 32, has 110.5 sacks to his credit, more than any other active player in the NFL. He’s still on the hunt for his first Rams sack, though he did notch 4.5 sacks for the Broncos earlier this year. Sacks aside, Miller is still giving quarterbacks fits. As of this writing, Pro Football Focus has Miller ranked as the ninth-best edge defender in the NFL with an 86.6 overall score. That’s just a tick below his finest work in Denver and well ahead of his 2019 showing, a career-low 79.3 mark.
At 9-4, the Rams can more or less clinch their playoff spot with a W over the Seahawks. A win would also bring them one step closer to capturing the NFC West.
Teammates on the Seahawks last year, Dunbar and Randall have not played this season. The Lions cut Dunbar earlier this year, while Randall’s latest Seattle agreement ultimately led to a release late last month.
Randall offers versatility, in having been a starter at both safety and cornerback, while Dunbar played a high level more recently. Both Randall and Dunbar are 29 and bring six years’ worth of experience.
Although Dunbar’s stock has dipped since his 2019 breakthrough season in Washington, the former UDFA intercepted four passes and graded as a top-five corner — per Pro Football Focus — in his final Washington slate. After changing regimes, Washington traded Dunbar to Seattle last year. He played in just six Seahawks games (all starts) before landing on IR. The Lions have kept tabs on Dunbar, despite releasing him, but the six-year vet remains a free agent.
A 2015 first-round pick, Randall played in 10 Seahawks games last season but did not start any. His most recent run as a first-stringer came with Cleveland, which used the veteran as a two-year safety starter from 2018-19. The Seahawks initially slotted Randall at safety but tried him at corner, his original NFL role, this offseason.
Simmons emerged as a potential piece for the Seahawks in 2020. After seeing time in only six games through his first two professional seasons, the offensive lineman started six of his 14 games for Seattle last season while appearing on 56-percent of the team’s offensive snaps.
Damarious Randall is staying put. Meanwhile, he’ll also be changing positions. On Friday, the Seahawks announced that they have re-signed the veteran for the 2021 season. They also disclosed that he’ll be utilized as a cornerback, rather than safety.
Randall has moved around the secondary throughout his career. A safety at Arizona State, the Packers played Randall at cornerback. Then, after three years, he was traded to the Browns, where he was moved over to safety. That’s where the Seahawks kept him last year — Randall saw time in ten games off the bench last year. He was mostly used on special teams but, when he was on D, he was deployed as a free safety.
Randall, a 2015 first-round pick started 30 of his 39 games for the Packers. All in all, he notched ten interceptions, 32 passes defensed, and 144 tackles for his original club. Then, he started 26 games across two years for the Browns. Those combined Cleveland years saw four interceptions, 2.5 sacks, 15 passes defensed, and 146 tackles.
Mychal Kendricks will be on track to play a ninth NFL season. The Seahawks will provide another opportunity, signing the veteran linebacker to their practice squad.
Kendricks will take the place of Damarious Randall, whom the Seahawks promoted to their active roster Wednesday. The Seahawks hosted Kendricks on a visit earlier this month. He will join a practice squad that now has two high-profile players, with Damon Harrison still part of that 16-man unit (despite poaching attempts from two Florida teams).
This will be a third season for the Kendricks-Seahawks partnership. The former Eagles starter landed with the Seahawks in 2018, shortly after the Browns released him when his insider trading scandal surfaced. But sentencing in that case has been delayed many times over the past two years, with the pandemic tabling it again in 2020. Kendricks has also recovered from the torn ACL he suffered in December, prompting the Raiders to take a look. But Kendricks will return to Seattle.
The Seahawks used Kendricks as a starter in 14 games last season, playing him extensively alongside Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright in base sets. Kendricks, 30, made 71 tackles (eight for loss) and recorded three sacks. His extensive usage last season points to a near-future promotion from Seattle’s taxi squad.
As could be expected given the circumstances, the Seahawks are promoting Damarious Randall from their practice squad.
The Seahawks signed the former first-round pick earlier this week. Randall will likely play a key role Sunday against the Dolphins. Neither Jamal Adams nor Quinton Dunbar practiced this week. Both are out for Seattle’s Week 4 contest.
Randall could not make the Raiders’ 53-man roster this year, after signing a one-year deal, but brings 65 games’ and 56 starts’ worth of experience to the Seahawks’ depleted secondary. After being used at cornerback for three season in Green Bay, Randall started 26 games at safety with Cleveland over the past two seasons.
Seattle will also elevate linebacker Shaquem Griffin and cornerback Gavin Heslop from its practice squad. Beginning his season on the Seahawks’ practice squad, Griffin played in Seattle’s shootout win over Dallas last weekend. The third-year linebacker was active for each of the Seahawks’ 32 regular-season games from 2018-19.