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Rams DC Raheem Morris Details Which Players He Expects to Step Up at Outside Linebacker

Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris highlights which players he sees stepping into an increased role in place of the injured Justin Hollins.

The Los Angeles Rams have a variety of routes they can explore in wake of filling the starting role that outside linebacker Justin Hollins will vacate following the injury to his pectoral muscle in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

While it's easier said than done to replace the production from a player like Hollins, who registered 12 tackles and two sacks over the first three weeks, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris highlighted three players who can presumably step up to fill the void.

Morris sounded optimistic in doing so, however, he did acknowledge the substantial blow that they're facing in losing Holliins for a great length of time.

"Losing Justin Hollins is obviously a big blow for us," Morris said Thursday. "He's so versatile. You can't come out and say you're going to replace him with one player because of the amount of things he does – off the ball, on the ball, the ability to communicate with him as an inside linebacker and also an outside linebacker."

Morris points toward the collection of ways Hollins was able to impact the game. Prior to going down, the third-year player showcased he wasn't just a one-dimensional player, and as the Rams move forward in their pursuit of using the next man up mentality, they may use a combination of players.

"You'll have some good guys step in there," Morris said. "You'll have a little bit of Earnest Brown as a rookie, you'll be able to get a little bit of Obo (Ogbonnia Okoronkwo) out there playing outside backer, you're going to get a little more of T-Lew (Terrell Lewis), increasing their roles."

Morris reiterated that Okoronkwo should be coming back, stating he's practicing like that's the case.

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One player specially that Morris called attention to during his Thursday media availability was Lewis, the second-year outside linebacker out of Alabama.

Following Hollins' injury in last week's game, Lewis encountered his largest workload of his NFL career as he logged 34 defensive snaps. His contributions in the Rams' 34-24 win over the Bucs was arguably his best game yet as a pro. Lewis looked healthy, playing free and in doing so, he delivered in critical situations. 

"He gave us great energy, he gave us a great hand usage setting the edge and when it was required during the end of the stretch, some really dynamic pass-rush," Morris said of Lewis' performance in Week 3. "He's got great length. He's able to use his length against tackles."

Morris said Lewis is a dynamic player when healthy, but its not just what he does on the field that encourages the defensive coordinator, its who Lewis is the person.

"He's a great kid," Morris said. "The thing about him – you're rooting for him because you know the severity of the injury that he had, how he bounced back and was able to go from college to the pros and to be able to be productive. Those are the guys you root for."

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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel.