The Los Angeles Rams currently rank 13th in the NFL’s defensive statistics for average yards allowed per game. However, they are faced with uncertainty regarding the availability of two key members of their 2023 defense for their upcoming game against the Dallas Cowboys on October 29th.
During his press conference on October 25th, Rams head coach Sean McVay disclosed that linebacker Ernest Jones and edge rusher Byron Young are currently being monitored for injuries.
Ernest Jones has been dealing with a knee injury that limited his participation in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite this, he managed to play and recorded four tackles, including one solo tackle. Notably, he was on the field for 47 snaps, the most among inside linebackers for the Rams.
Byron Young, a rookie pass rusher, received 56 snaps in the game against the Steelers, making it the second-highest number of snaps on the team. However, it is not clear what injury is affecting him in practice. He concluded the game with three solo tackles, one tackle for a loss, and two quarterback hits on Kenny Pickett.
Although both players are currently limited due to their injuries, McVay expressed confidence that it won’t affect their game status for the Cowboys matchup, stating, “Don’t expect that to affect their game status.”
If both players make a full recovery, it would be a significant boost for the Rams, who are preparing to face one of the NFL’s most potent offenses. The Dallas Cowboys have been averaging 329.8 yards per game and scoring an average of 25.7 points per game. They have surpassed the 30-point mark in three of their four wins.
In addition to addressing the defensive concerns, McVay also discussed a recent addition to the Rams’ offense – a new placekicker. The team decided to release Brett Maher and brought in Lucas Havrisik from the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad on October 24.
When asked about the decision to go with a kicker who has not yet played in a regular season game, McVay responded, “You’ve got to start somewhere, right? You look at all of these guys, and you have to be able to give them some experience somewhere. So I don’t think that can make you gun shy. I think you want to be realistic about some of those spots.”
The plan for Havrisik involves evaluating his performance during the week, with McVay mentioning that they have other potential options from the practice squad. They will make the best decision regarding their approach to the Dallas game based on this evaluation.
Interestingly, a former Rams player, Matt Gay, played a role in influencing the decision to sign Havrisik. McVay mentioned that Gay’s feedback, stemming from their time together in Indianapolis, factored into the decision-making process.