The Los Angeles Rams endured a blow to its secondary following an ankle sprain of cornerback Darious Williams, landing him on short-term injured reserve.
That means L.A. will be down a starter at cornerback – a position they're already particularly thin at. Prior to Williams' injury last week, the Rams only carried four cornerbacks on the 53-man roster, so a promotion of a defensive back from the practice squad is likely before Sunday's contest.
In filling the void, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said that they'll go with a committee approach in place of the injured Williams.
“You got to have versatility with Jalen Ramsey. Darious Williams was a big part of us having that ability to do those things," Morris said Thursday. "Now, you can't replace those types of guys with one guy. It’s got to be by committee. You got to be able to do those things. It’d be some David Long Jr., will be some more Robert Rochell. A potential of somebody like a Terrell Burgess emerging. All those guys on this roster that you can use their skillsets. You’ll hear the cliche by coaches saying, ‘The next man up.’ It's more like the next men up. The next people up to fill those roles to be able to do those things. I think it's our job as coaches to identify the problem. It's the player's jobs to go out and fix them, but it's our job to put those guys in the position to best be successful and to coach what they can do and not to find out what they can’t.”
The rookie Rochell received his first NFL start last week in Seattle. Meanwhile, Long has started four games this season but results have ultimately been up and down.
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Morris also spoke highly of Lewis, the Rams' second-year versatile linebacker who could be deployed in a multitude of ways.
“You’re certainly looking at a big opportunity for him right here," Morris said of Lewis. "When people get injured, unfortunate, but it certainly is an opportunity for somebody else and you got a chance to get out there and show yourself and fill that small role or that bigger role or whatever that role is. And you certainly can increase it by your play. Whether that's playing well in special teams, whether it's playing well on defense in your role, whatever those roles are, you got to go out and accept those things and you get better and better and better as you go."
The Rams have allowed an average of 271 passing yards per game, which rank in the bottom third of the league. While the Rams will face a tall task with Williams out for at least three weeks, Morris remains confident that the team has internal options to step up and deliver.
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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel.