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Sean McVay Provides Insight Into the Rams' Depth at Tight End

Who will serve as the Rams' TE2 following an injury to Johnny Mundt?

The Los Angeles Rams lost tight end Johnny Mundt for the remainder of the season following a torn ACL in last week's game against the New York Giants.

Mundt served primarily as the team's blocking tight end but he also displayed the ability to contribute in the receiving game as a sure-handed receiver. 

The Rams will now proceed forward with the 'next man up' mentality in an effort to back up starting tight end Tyler Higbee.

On Friday, coach Sean McVay provided some intel on the outlook of the position and the depth options that they have at their disposal.

“There are a couple of guys that are candidates," McVay said in regards to the Rams' secondary tight end spot. "You look at Brycen Hopkins, you look at Kendall Blanton. Jacob Harris is a guy that could fulfill that. It really depends on the personnel package. But those are the three guys that would be candidates for that.”

While Hopkins and Blanton have more familiarity at the position, Harris, the rookie out of UCF who's converted from wide receiver to tight end, poses the biggest threat as a pass-catcher.

Therefore, this could be an optimal time to get Harris reps in pass-catching scenarios, while Hopkins and Blanton endure the bulk of blocking situations. Meanwhile, Harris said this week that he's been putting a clear focus on the fundamentals in looking to fine-tune his game.

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"Transition from college to the league, everyone is very technical," Harris said when discussing his efforts as a blocker. "It comes down to hands, hand placement, strike pad and pad level. That's really what my emphasis has been. At the end of the day, I got the size, I got the strength, it's really just working the technique and continuing to fine-tune those things not only at tight end but when I'm flexed out as well."

At McVay's Friday media availability, he sounded as if they'll dictate who is utilized based upon what the situation calls for.

“I think those guys (Hopkins and Blanton) have more experience playing where you're talking about that legitimate tight end, where you're closing the formation," McVay said. "There are some different things that you can do to create those closed looks and (Harris) still has enough athleticism and toughness to be able to secure backside edges. But as far as just playing an in-line tight end, those guys are more likely candidates in that role.”

Blanton currently sits on the Rams' practice squad, but McVay said that a promotion ahead of the Week 7 game against the Lions is possible.

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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick and Ram Digest on Twitter @NickCothrel & @RamDigestSI for more Rams coverage.