The St. Louis Rams unofficially began the process of cutting the roster from 75 players (as of yesterday morning) to the league enforced maximum of 53. This is certainly one of the worst days in the NFL calendar for many of the players, their families and team staffs, as players have been fighting since May OTA’s for a roster spot.
In the Rams’ case, the number of players waived/cut by August 31 at 5 pm CST must be 20 and not 22 due to the early season suspensions of RB Isaiah Pead and LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Once those players return from their respective suspensions (Pead one game, Dunbar four games) the organization will need to adjust the roster accordingly.
As the St. Louis Rams have not officially announced waives/cuts to the public, here is an unofficial list (courtesy of St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Jim Thomas and ESPN’s Nick Wagoner) of the players expected to be released today. So far nineteen (19) have been identified, with players in bold are expected to be practice squad eligible:
QB: Austin Davis
FB: Eric Stevens
TE: Phillip Lutzenkirchen, Zach Potter
OT: DJ Young, Ty Nsekhe
WR: Nick Johnson, Emory Blake, Justin Veltung
Total: 9 (8 eligible for practice squad)
DE: RJ Washington
DT: Mason Brodine, Garrett Goebel
LB: Sammy Brown, Josh Hull
CB: Andre Martin, Drew Thomas, Darren Woodard
S: Rashard Hall, Cody Davis
Total: 10 (9 eligible for practice squad)
While none of the moves on the offensive side of the ball were shocking, it is certainly interesting that given the lack of strong depth at offensive tackle (behind OT’s Long, Saffold and Barksdale) the Rams would part ways with OT Ty Nsekhe. Nsekhe is still eligible for the practice squad, however, so perhaps the Rams believe he will pass through waivers unclaimed. The Rams will also scour the waiver wire over the next few days for improvements at offensive tackle, as protecting Bradford is paramount to this offense.
When put in the proper perspective, the release of QB Austin Davis is not as shocking as initially perceived by many in #RamsNation. He did not do enough during camp or preseason to separate himself from veteran QB Kellen Clemens, and due to his practice squad eligibility, he can continue to develop in OC Brian Schottenheimer’s system:
Worth noting that QB Austin Davis is practice squad eligible. Was only on gameday active list once in 2012.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) August 30, 2013
The biggest surprise was the release of LB Josh Hull, a mainstay since 2010 as MLB James Laurinaitis’ backup and a special teams ace. It is believed that the coaching staff is high on several of the rookie undrafted free agent linebackers, including Ray-Ray Armstrong and Darren Bates. These linebackers had an excellent camp and preseason, especially on special teams. Hull is no longer eligible for the practice squad, and therefore would not likely return to the team.
Based on his showing during preseason, one might expect DT Mason Brodine to stake his claim for a roster spot. However, the Rams currently have a “good problem” in terms of the defensive tackle depth, with Brockers, Langford, Conrath and Cudjo penciled in. Cudjo missed time in camp, and his return meant someone (even a good player) had to be released:
Brodine's release could clear way for UDFA Gerald Rivers. Rivers had strong preseason and Rams might not believe he can get through to PS.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) August 30, 2013
When the Rams make these releases official, Rams101 will be sure to keep you posted.
Update (6 pm CST): The above list was confirmed by the Rams, with OL Sean Hooey also released. OT Ty Nsekhe designated as waived/injured, and RB Isaiah Pead and LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar were placed on the reserved-suspended list.
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