While 80’s rockers Poison may believe that “every rose has its thorn,” Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead trusts that everything could have its silver lining.
In what will be remembered as a forgettable season, the defending Super Bowl LVI champions finished 5-12 in 2022. The Rams failed to qualify for the postseason, due largely in part to enduring a rash of injuries to some of the team’s most prominent players.
At various points throughout the year, starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, running back Cam Akers, wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson and defensive linemen Aaron Donald and A’Shawn Robinson all missed time due to injury. In fact, Stafford, Kupp, and both Robinsons ended the campaign on injured reserve.
Despite the numerous difficulties caused by the absence of such standouts, Rams general manager Les Snead extracted some positives from the situation.
In short, it gave Los Angeles the chance to showcase some of its younger talents.
"That would probably be one of the roses of the many thorns of this year,” Snead told reporters on Thursday. “Players on their rookie contracts or whatever the case, garner experience, and within that experience, you have the chance to evaluate and determine, 'Okay, is there a role for that particular player moving forward?'"
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Bryce Perkins, running back Kyren Williams and receivers Tutu Atwell and Ben Skowronek logged significant minutes while spelling established talent such as Stafford, and Robinson.
For the defense, tackle Greg Gaines, cornerback Covid Durant and defensive ends Jonah Williams and Michael Hoecht, saw more playing time due to multiple defenders being inactive.
While the season may not have produced the type of success for which the Rams had hoped, the team was encouraged by the potential of its youngsters. Though Snead acknowledged that the Rams' recent expenditures may place some restrictions on their ability to invest notable funds this offseason, he remains encouraged by the performance of the team’s reserves. As such, both Snead and coach Sean McVay have a reason for optimism as the Rams look to return to form in 2023.
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