OCTOBER 28: Both Jefferson and Hill will be activated ahead of Saturday afternoon’s Week 8 deadline, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. Sean McVay said he expected to have several players back from injury after the team’s bye. Roster designations will be used on Jefferson and Hill, who each went on IR earlier this year. The Rams came into the week having not used any of their injury activations. After these moves, they will have six remaining this season.
Hill is a longtime cornerback for Los Angeles that took a brief hiatus during its Super Bowl season last year. Hill signed as a free agent with the Browns for the 2021 season but was traded back to the Rams during this year’s draft. Hill had earned a starting role in Los Angeles before signing with the Browns and was in line to return to that role before a groin injury in a Week 2 win over the Falcons sent him to injured reserve.
Howard has been with Los Angeles since 2018 in some capacity, spending lots of time on reserve lists over the years. Most recently, Howard was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list in July after suffering a groin tear that would eventually require surgery. While he had opportunities to make an impact last year, even making the game-sealing interception in last year’s NFC Championship Game to send the Rams to the Super Bowl, this year’s linebacking corps in Los Angeles is much more talented. If he returns from the NFI list, Howard will only add some depth to the linebacker unit and likely contribute on special teams.
Jefferson is attempting to make his season debut after undergoing knee surgery this offseason. The Rams have badly missed the third-year receiver who served as the team’s second receiving option behind Cooper Kupp last season. Los Angeles has attempted to replace Jefferson’s production with Ben Skowronek and Allen Robinson, but getting Jefferson back could be a huge addition to the Rams’ passing game.
Designating Hill, Howard, and Jefferson opens up the three-week practice period for each player. If, at the end of the three-week period, the Rams have not activated any individual player, that player will have the designation for return removed and will have to remain out for the remainder of the season.
Jacob Harris getting cut came as a bit of a surprise after the 2021 fourth-round pick got into nine games as a rookie. However, he rarely got a look on offense in 2021, and despite the Rams only rostering two tight ends at the end of the day (Tyler Higbee, Brycen Hopkins), Harris was let go. Chris Garrett was also a 2021 draft pick, being selected by the Rams in the seventh round. He only got into one game as a rook.
AJ Arcuri was a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft, but the rookie didn’t show enough to crack the 53-man roster. There’s a good chance the Michigan State product lands back on the Rams practice squad.
JULY 24: After originally announcing some PUP moves on their website Friday night, the Rams have made a couple of adjustments to the list before it becomes final on Tuesday.
Head coach Sean McVay informed reporters that the team “decided to pivot and not place (cornerback) Jalen Ramsey on the PUP list,” according to ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. McVay conveyed that the team doctors had been able to clear Ramsey to participate in “above the neck” drills in camp. Ramsey would not have been allowed to work in such drills if he were placed on PUP.
Linebacker Travin Howard is also not going to be placed on the PUP list, but, unfortunately, will still be placed on the team’s non-football injury list, according to Josh Alper of NBC Sports. The change in placement is due to the disclosure of information that Howard’s injury occurred in workouts leading up to camp. Howard will see a core muscle specialist in Philadelphia this week for surgery with hopes of being ready by the start of the regular season.
Lastly, the Rams added one more player to the PUP list in addition to Lake and Williams (who were originally reported below). Wide receiver Warren Jackson will join the two as physically unable to perform, according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.
Ramsey played all of last season with tears in both shoulders, leading to an offseason operation. It’s only been a month since the defensive back decided to go under the knife, so he was always expected to be limited for the early parts of training camp. As head coach Sean McVay told reporters, the team is mostly focused on having Ramsey on the field for the start of the regular season.
“The thing with Jalen is, you want to see what the timetable is, because there are some parameters where you lose the ability to do certain things you might want to, but that’s definitely going to be a topic [Vice President, Sports Medicine and Performance Reggie Scott and I] will discuss this afternoon,” McVay said (via the team’s website). “But he’s doing good. He’s been attacking the rehab the right way. He’s feeling good. When we did do that surgery on him, obviously most importantly was how he felt about it, but then with the goal in mind of, alright, attack the rehab the right way, and most importantly, be ready for Sept. 8, ready to go. So we’ll be smart about that progress for him.”
Ramsey had another incredible season in 2021, culminating in him earning a Super Bowl ring. He finished the regular season with 77 tackles, 16 passes defended, and four interceptions in 16 games, with Pro Football Focus grading him as the top CB in the NFL. The performance also earned him his fifth Pro Bowl nod and third first-team All-Pro recognition. Ramsey started each of the Rams four playoff contests, collecting another 13 tackles.
Howard, who has mostly played a special teams role since joining the Rams, pulled his groin was training on his own. Williams, a rookie fifth-round pick, is still recovering from a broken foot suffered during offseason programs, but he’s expected to return to the field before the end of training camp. It’s uncertain what injury Lake is dealing with. The UCLA product was a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft.
It’s been a busy day in Los Angeles. Tucked under the headline of Cooper Kupp‘s extension includes a transaction that saw the Rams moving on from one of their defenders. The team announced earlier today that they have waived linebacker Travin Howard. The linebacker was set to earn $2.5MM next season.
Following a collegiate career at LSU that saw him earn two-straight first-team All-Big 12 honors and Alamo Bowl Defensive MVP, Howard was selected by the Rams in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. The linebacker appeared in all 16 games as a rookie, collecting 22 tackles while mostly playing on special teams.
He landed on IR prior to the 2020 campaign, wiping out his season. He returned for 2021 and got into 12 games (tw0 starts), finishing with 21 tackles and an interception. He added another 10 tackles in four postseason games (two starts), and he hauled in the game-clinching interception during the Rams NFC Championship Game victory.
Howard only his starts when rookie Ernest Jones was injured, and the organization also brought in Bobby Wagner at the linebacker position. As a result, Howard was already destined to be a backup at best in 2022, and it sounds like the organization will pivot to a younger option to round out their linebackers corps.
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.