The Rams continued their efforts on Thursday to strengthen a squad that has been weakened by injuries and a suspension as they get ready for their NFC West debut against the Arizona Cardinals.
Meet the newest Rams, who were once Rams, as the number of injuries rises
The Rams added defensive back Shaun Jolly and tight end Kendall Blanton to the roster a day after adding edge rusher, Takkarist McKinley. Veteran running back Malcolm Brown was added to the practice squad.
The Rams have a history with Blanton and Brown. Brown and Blanton both participated in team activities from 2015 to 2020.
Brown proclaimed that he was “really thrilled to be back in this atmosphere, this organization that I had been in for so long.” Only “excitement” will do.
Before and after last Sunday’s 31-27 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, the Rams saw a wave of injuries.
Leonard Floyd, an edge rusher, played despite having a knee injury. Tremayne Anchrum of the offensive line sustained a season-ending ankle injury, and cornerback Troy Hill’s groin injury resulted in his placement on injured reserve.
Cobie Durant, a rookie cornerback, and David Long, a veteran cornerback, both had groin and hamstring injuries. Brycen Hopkins, a tight end, was also given a three-game NFL suspension on Wednesday for breaching the league’s drug policy.
McKinley, a former first-round draught pick from UCLA, was signed by the Rams off the Tennessee Titans practice squad, reuniting him with defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, who had previously coached him with the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons picked McKinley with the 26th overall pick in the 2017 draught. Though McKinley produced 1612 sacks in his first three seasons, the Falcons decided not to exercise their fifth-year option. He recorded one sack in four games during his final season with the Falcons before being dismissed in the middle of the year.
Before sustaining an Achilles injury, McKinley, 26, played last season for the Cleveland Browns and recorded two and a half sacks in 11 games.
He participated in his first practice as a Ram ten months later.
“I’m just here to help whatever I can,” McKinley said. “It’s been a heck of a road, just to get back on the field, just to get to this point and just to be able to be back in an NFL locker room.”
Morris claimed that despite their history being “rocky” at times, he and McKinley “always stayed reasonably close.” Morris claimed that he maintained relationships with the players he advised both on and off the court.
Morris stated, “He’s a guy that I believe can help us in a pass rush, and I think deserves a second shot.”
Morris and McKinley were “closer than close,” according to McKinley.
McKinley stated, “I’m grateful that we stayed in touch over the years, not even just on a football level, just on a personal level. “He helped me out with everything, simple life, being a father.
Therefore, I will always be grateful to coach Raheem.
The Rams’ 26-year-old Blanton was a vital member of the Super Bowl run last year. Prior to suffering a shoulder injury in the Super Bowl triumph against the Cincinnati Bengals, he caught seven catches for 75 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs, creating a chance for Hopkins.
The Rams cut Blanton in August when the roster was reduced to 53 players. He was taken off waivers by the Washington Commanders, who later released him. Inking with the Chiefs is Blanton.
In the words of Rams tight end Tyler Higbee, “He certainly knows the offense.” “That way, he won’t have a steep learning curve when he arrives here and is prepared to go. happy to see him again.
Brown, 29, joined the Rams in 2015 as an undrafted free agent and served as Todd Gurley’s reliable backup for six seasons.
Brown carried the ball 101 times for 419 yards and five touchdowns in 2020.
He signed with the Miami Dolphins prior to the previous campaign. Prior to sustaining a quadriceps injury, Brown had 33 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown in seven games.
In a group of running backs that also includes Darrell Henderson and Cam Akers, Brown is once more the most experienced player.
Liam Coen, the offensive coordinator, described Malcolm as “a pro’s pro.” Simply follows the rules both on and off the field. He’ll serve as a fantastic role model for several of our younger guys.
Aaron Donald, a seasoned defensive lineman, is pleased that Brown is back with the squad.
Donald explained, “He’s basically a man that understands what we’re doing here. “Been here; familiar with surroundings. It will be fantastic to have him back in the mix.
Jolly was acquired by the Rams off the Cleveland Browns practice squad. In his four seasons at Appalachian State, he intercepted six passes.
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