Joseph Noteboom

Rams Sign Ty Nsekhe, Cut Takk McKinley

As the Rams continue to lose offensive linemen, they keep adding veterans. Ty Nsekhe is now on Los Angeles’ 53-man roster, agreeing to terms with the team Tuesday. The Rams signed Nsekhe off the Colts’ practice squad.

This marks a reunion for Nsekhe, who began his career in St. Louis 10 years ago. The Rams added Nsekhe as a waiver claim back in 2012 — GM Les Snead‘s first season running the team — after the Colts initially signed him as a UDFA. But the then-Missouri-stationed team moved on by 2013, sending Nsekhe on a lengthy odyssey as a backup/spot starter.

No one remains with the Rams from that 2012 team, with Johnny Hekker being released this offseason, but Nsekhe will join a squad that has added a few veterans up front in recent weeks. Oday Aboushi and Matt Skura are on Los Angeles’ active roster, having signed with the team in-season. Nsekhe’s addition comes after the Rams placed left tackle Joe Noteboom on IR; Noteboom suffered an Achilles tear in Week 6.

Nsekhe will turn 37 next week, separating him a bit from Aboushi and Skura, and has played 93 career games (17 starts). He spent time back with the Colts earlier this season, residing on Indianapolis’ practice squad, but did not see any game action. After his brief Rams stint, Nsekhe caught on with New Orleans, Washington, Buffalo and Dallas. He has not started a game since 2019 and has not logged more than one start in a season since 2018.

To run down the list of Rams O-line injuries, Noteboom joins starting left guard David Edwards and guard/center Coleman Shelton on IR. Guard fill-in Tremayne Anchrum, who was filling in as a starter after Brian Allen‘s Week 1 injury, is also on IR. Allen has not played since Week 1 but is expected to return after the team’s Week 7 bye. The Rams lost third-round rookie guard Logan Bruss to an ACL tear during the preseason.

In addition to the Noteboom and Nsekhe moves, the defending Super Bowl champions cut ties with Takkarist McKinley and placed cornerback Grant Haley on IR. They signed McKinley off the Titans’ practice squad last month. By rule, the Rams had to carry the veteran pass rusher on their active roster for at least three weeks, but that time has passed. McKinley saw only 11 defensive snaps with the Rams during his stay back in L.A. The UCLA alum passes straight through to free agency. Although McKinley has consistently generated interest, his stock has dipped considerably since the Falcons waived him late during the 2020 season.

Rams LT Joe Noteboom Suffers Torn Achilles

OCTOBER 17: ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry confirms (on Twitter) that Noteboom has indeed torn his Achilles. He will be sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.

OCTOBER 16: The Rams exited today’s game against the Panthers with a win on the scoreboard, but another injury along the offensive line. As head coach Sean McVay alluded to when speaking to the media, left tackle Joe Noteboom is feared to have suffered a torn Achilles. 

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that further testing will be done (Twitter link). If the initial diagnosis is confirmed, however, Noteboom will be out for the remainder of the season. That would mark yet another major blow to the Rams’ offensive line, one which has been ravaged by injuries in 2022.

The defending champions have been forced to delve much further down the depth chart than they would have thought or hoped entering the season. The center and right guard positions in particular have been in considerable flux. Brian Allen, David Edwards and Coleman Shelton should be able to return at various points later in the campaign to help reinforce the interior offensive front, but Logan Bruss and Tremayne Anchrum have already been lost for the year.

Noteboom, 27, re-signed on a three-year deal this offseason. That move cemented his status as the successor to Andrew Whitworth on the blindside after he spent the past two years backing up the now retired All-Pro. His first campaign as an undisputed first-teamer has seen the former third-rounder struggle in pass protection, however. Five sacks and 23 pressures allowed entering today’s game contributed to Noteboom’s 65.8 PFF grade, and the overall woes of the offensive line in general.

The Rams have surrendered 22 sacks (tied for the second-most in the NFL) through six games this season, as the team deals with the absence of Whitworth and the mounting injuries. They have a bye upcoming to ascertain Noteboom’s status and attempt to return to a healthier position on the line, but it appears he will need replacing for the remainder of the campaign.

Rams Move Tyler Higbee, Joe Noteboom To IR; Darrell Henderson, Sebastian Joseph-Day Back On Roster

The Rams are on track to see some familiar faces in uniform Sunday. The anticipated activations of Darrell Henderson and Sebastian Joseph-Day took place Friday.

But the NFC champions are now certain to be without Tyler Higbee and backup offensive lineman Joe Noteboom. The Rams placed both on IR to make room for Henderson and Joseph-Day. The sprained MCL Higbee suffered in the NFC championship game prevented him from practicing this week.

While the Bengals are likely to see C.J. Uzomah return to action after his championship-round injury, the Rams will be forced to use backups. Kendall Blanton and second-year cog Brycen Hopkins are the only other active-roster tight ends for Los Angeles. The former made key contributions against the 49ers, catching five passes for 57 yards. This came after Blanton scored a touchdown against the Buccaneers. Higbee’s absence will move Blanton into a key auxiliary role in the passing game.

This would have been Higbee’s second Super Bowl. He played against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII but did not catch a pass. This season, the Rams turned to Higbee more frequently, having let Gerald Everett walk in free agency. Higbee finished with 61 receptions for 560 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Noteboom has served as Andrew Whitworth‘s backup for the past two seasons. He stepped in for the 40-year-old left tackle starter against the Bucs but did not play in the NFC championship game. A chest injury will wrap Noteboom’s season early. A 2018 third-round pick, Noteboom is set to be a free agent next month. Whitworth returned for the 49ers matchup and will make his Super Bowl debut Sunday.

Henderson also suffered an MCL sprain and has not played since Week 16. While the third-year running back started for most of this season, his role almost certainly will be minimized upon return. Sony Michel had begun to eat into Henderson’s workload late in the season, and Cam Akers has since made his return to action. Still, the Rams will soon have a deep backfield for Super Bowl LVI. It will be the first time Henderson, Akers and Michel will each be available.

Joseph-Day has not played since Week 7, having suffered a chest injury that required surgery. The third-year interior D-lineman has been a Rams starter for most of his career. Prior to going down in October, Joseph-Day had registered a career-high three sacks. This stands to bolster L.A.’s depth up front and present an embattled Bengals offensive line with another challenge.

Rams LT Andrew Whitworth Out Vs. Bucs

The Rams will be without Andrew Whitworth against the Buccaneers on Sunday. The longtime left tackle will miss his team’s divisional-round game due to the knee injury he suffered Monday.

Whitworth went down on the Rams’ first play against the Cardinals but ended up returning. However, Sean McVay said the swelling in the injured right knee will force an absence Sunday.

Whitworth did play 30 of the Rams’ 60 offensive snaps against the Cards, but Joe Noteboom spelled him on the left side otherwise. A former starter, Noteboom replaced Whitworth in the Rams’ lineup in the two games the 40-year-old blocker missed this season. Noteboom also worked as Whitworth’s replacement during the 2020 season. Whitworth suffered a torn MCL in his left knee last season.

No IR designation has been made for Whitworth, keeping him eligible to play next week — should the Rams notch a second win over the Bucs this season. This will be the third time in the Bucs’ past four playoff games they have faced a team missing its left tackle, with Tampa Bay having gone against the Packers without David Bakhtiari in last year’s NFC championship game and the Chiefs without Eric Fisher in Super Bowl LV. Shaquil Barrett made a major impact in both championship-cementing contests, combining for four sacks and eight quarterback hits.

Safety Taylor Rapp, who remains in concussion protocol after missing the Rams’ wild-card game, will also miss Sunday’s Bucs rematch. Nick Scott and Terrell Burgess are in line to start a second playoff game for the Los Angeles, which used the recently unretired Eric Weddle in 19 snaps against Arizona.

NFL COVID List Updates

We are trying our best here at Pro Football Rumors to keep up with all of the updates throughout the league concerning players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. A lot of teams had high hopes during today’s testing as they were trying to get players activated in time for Sunday’s slate of games.

Here are updates as of 8:30 PM ET, Sat 12/18:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DT Eddie Goldman
  • OC Bill Lazor, DC Sean Desai, STC Chris Tabor in COVID-19 protocols

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB P.J. Locke

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Four Coaches in COVID-19 protocols

New York Giants

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/14/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team 

Rams Place OL Joe Noteboom On IR

More injury rehab lies in Joe Noteboom‘s future. After recovering from ACL and MCL tears to return to the Rams’ starting lineup, the team’s top left guard will return to IR.

The Rams shelved Noteboom for at least three weeks after he suffered a Grade 2 calf strain against the Eagles. This will provide another interruption to the former third-round pick’s run as a starter.

After letting Rodger Saffold head elsewhere in free agency, Rams turned to the TCU product last season. Noteboom started six games but went on IR after his knee injury. However, he returned in time for Week 1 of his third NFL season and has started both Rams games thus far.

Los Angeles has used 2019 trade acquisition Austin Corbett as its other guard starter. David Edwards, a 2019 fifth-round pick, replaced Noteboom last week and is expected to start opposite Corbett on Sunday in Buffalo.

NFC West Rumors: Drake, Olsen, Rams

This running back market could feature Derrick Henry and Melvin Gordon, but given how most of the high-end running back contracts of recent years have not helped teams, the prices for the free agent backs might be team-friendly.

Nevertheless, Kenyan Drake is hoping to parlay his Cardinals work into a lucrative deal. The former Dolphins starter-turned-trade chip is expected to target $8-$10MM per year, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. That would come in south of the Ezekiel ElliottTodd GurleyLe’Veon BellDavid Johnson top tier but north of the rest of the field. Drake is a candidate to stay in Arizona, however, despite Johnson’s presence.

The Cardinals want to re-sign their recent trade acquisition, and the prospect of a franchise tag has surfaced. That $10MM-plus figure entering the equation would be a serious boon for Drake’s value.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • ESPN’s Brady Henderson has details on Greg Olsen‘s one-year, $7MM deal with the Seahawks (Twitter link). The veteran tight end will earn a $3.75MM signing bonus with a $1.75MM base salary, leading to $5.5MM in guaranteed money. Olsen also has an extra $1.5MM in per-game roster bonuses.
  • The Rams will be without offensive guard Joseph Noteboom and center Brian Allen until the start of training camp, according to Rich Hammond of The Athletic. The fact that the team won’t have a pair of starters for much of the offseason program could influence the front office’s decision to retain impending free agent Austin Blythe and potential trade candidate Rob Havenstein.
  • We learned earlier today that despite having around only $13MM in cap space, the 49ers are motivated to keep Arik Armstead in the fold.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

Rams’ Joseph Noteboom Done For Year

Rams left guard Joseph Noteboom is done for the year, head coach Sean McVay announced. Unfortunately, team doctors didn’t need long to make a diagnosis after Noteboom tore his ACL and MCL. 

[RELATED: Rams To Place Aqib Talib On IR]

Noteboom, a third-round pick in the 2018 draft, appeared in every game for the Rams last year and started for them on the interior line in all six games this year. That includes every snap of the first five games, plus ten snaps on Sunday, before the fateful injury.

Losing him will be rough, particularly on the heels of losing Aqib Talib on the other side of the ball. The Rams started 3-0, but they’re in the midst of a three-game skid with losses to the Bucs, Seahawks, and 49ers.

NFC West Notes: Rams, 49ers, Johnson

Todd Gurley has made it through five games without a knee-related absence this season, which could be considered a victory based on the suspicion surrounding the Rams running back this offseason. But the two-time first-team All-Pro has encountered a quadriceps issue and is “up in the air” for Week 6, per Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). The Rams initially viewed this as a minor malady, but Gurley is not a lock to suit up against the 49ers. The fifth-year running back has been productive but a cut off his All-Pro form this season. He has yet to post a 100-yard rushing game and, with 338 scrimmage yards, is well off the pace of his past two slates. It would not surprise if the Rams exercised caution here and turned their Week 6 backfield reins over to Malcolm Brown.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The knee and quad injuries Dee Ford suffered early in his 49ers stay have limited his workloads this season. Ford has played just 33 snaps over the past two games and has not gone through a healthy performer’s practice work. The 49ers holding Ford out of Wednesday and Thursday practices throughout the season would not be a surprise, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. The trade acquisition still rates as a top-20 edge defender, per Pro Football Focus, but has played just 97 snaps this season.
  • After injury trouble and role changes, Arik Armstead entered this season with an uncertain future. But his first four games of a contract year have helped change his status, and John Lynch now indicates the fifth-year defensive lineman will be a sought-after commodity if he reaches the 2020 open market. “What Arik needs to do is keep on playing at that level and he’s going to make his life really easy because a lot of people are going to coveting him, along with us,” Lynch said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. The 2015 first-round pick arrived during Jim Tomsula‘s one-year stay and missed 18 games between the 2016 and ’17 seasons. But Armstead bounced back to play 18 in 2018 and grades as PFF’s No. 14 edge defender through four games. The 49ers have DeForest Buckner extension talks on tap for 2020; they may have to consider the franchise tag for Armstead.
  • An unorthodox Trent Williams destination: the NFC’s Los Angeles team. While other teams have much bigger offensive line needs, Sean McVay coached Williams in Washington. The Redskins also moved the longtime left tackle to guard for a 2018 game. That would be where Williams would play if the Rams traded for him, with Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein entrenched at tackle. The Rams remain confident in left guard Joseph Noteboom, but Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic notes (subscription required) the team desires immediate improvement up front. PFF grades Noteboom as its fifth-worst full-time guard.
  • While Gurley may miss Week 6, David Johnson is also in danger of a Sunday absence. The Cardinals running back is dealing with a back injury and has missed two practices this week. A 2018 fourth-round pick out of Fordham, Chase Edmonds will start if Johnson cannot go. Johnson has not missed a game since a wrist injury sidelined him for 15 2017 contests.