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10 players on the Rams' roster bubble entering training camp – Rams Wire

It’s almost the time of the year when training camps commence around the NFL, with plenty of players trying to compete for roster spots on their respective teams. Players will be arriving at training camp for the Los Angeles Rams on July 23 as all eyes will be on certain position battles ahead of the upcoming season.
Unfortunately, not every player on the current roster is going to make the active roster for the Rams this year. Before the 2022 season kicks off, Los Angeles will have to trim their roster to 53 players, meaning that there will be quite a few difficult decisions to make.
Some players are going to have a tougher time than others to earn a roster spot and they’ll need strong showings during training camp to prove their worth. With playing in the NFL being a brutal line of work, here are 10 players that are on the roster bubble for the Rams entering training camp.
The Rams are expected to deploy Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson as their top two running backs in 2022. Los Angeles used a fifth-round pick on Kyren Williams in this year’s draft and Jake Funk figures to carve a role out on special teams in his sophomore campaign.
Taking that into account, Xavier Jones could be on the outside looking in when the Rams have to trim their roster before Week 1. Jones suffered an Achilles injury that sidelined him for the entire 2021 season after serving as a special teams contributor in 2020.
I expect the Rams to carry four running backs to begin the 2022 season, and while Jones could find a spot on the practice squad, it’s going to be tough for him to secure a spot on the active roster.
What was said for Jones above can basically be said about Raymond Calais entering training camp. Calais also missed all of last season with a foot fracture, so he’ll need to show that he’s healthy enough to contribute in 2022.
Between Jones and Calais, Calais might have the slight edge due to having more experience in returning kicks. That being said, it’s hard for me to predict Jones or Calais to supplant Funk for the No. 4 spot on the depth chart at the running back position.
The wide receiver position is unquestionably loaded for the Rams, especially after the team signed Allen Robinson in free agency. Cooper Kupp, Robinson, Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, and Ben Skowronek are slated to be the team’s top five wideouts.
While I wouldn’t be shocked if Skowronek is released, it will be interesting to see how the backend of the depth chart shakes out at wide receiver. J.J. Koski is among the wideouts who are hoping to prove they are worth keeping around on the active roster.
Koski made some noise in the preseason last year and he had seven total returns (two punt returns, five kick returns) in 2021. Despite his experience returning kicks a season ago, the Rams likely want Atwell returning kicks, and Jacob Harris could be listed as a wide receiver, which would make things even tougher for Koski.
Trying to trim down the offensive line is always a tough endeavor for teams around the NFL. Having depth in the trenches is crucial, even though the Rams avoided any serious injuries along the offensive line amid their Super Bowl run a season ago.
With Austin Corbett departing in free agency, Los Angeles is expected to hold an open competition between rookie Logan Bruss, Tremayne Anchrum Jr., and Bobby Evans at right guard. Bruss was the team’s first selection in the 2022 NFL draft, so Anchrum and Evans could be vying for a depth spot on the roster.
I’d give the slight edge to Anchrum due to Evans being in the final year of his rookie contract, underperforming as a third-round pick from the 2019 NFL draft.
In the seventh round of this year’s draft, one of the selections by the Rams was AJ Arcuri out of Michigan State. Arcuri isn’t a supreme athlete, but with a chance to work with Joseph Noteboom and Rob Havenstein this offseason, he could develop into a swing tackle in the NFL.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Arcuri can show enough during training camp to jump ahead of guys like Chandler Brewer or Alaric Jackson. Despite being on the roster bubble, even if Arcuri doesn’t make the active roster, he’s unquestionably a candidate to be signed to the practice squad if another team doesn’t claim him.
The defensive line is top-heavy (no pun intended) for the Rams, with Aaron Donald, Greg Gaines, and A’Shawn Robinson set to start in 2022. But behind their starters, Los Angeles is lacking depth on the defensive front.
Bobby Brown and Michael Hoecht should be in line to secure roster spots despite Brown receiving a six-game suspension to begin the upcoming season. After Brown and Hoecht, Jonah Williams is on the roster bubble as he’ll have an uphill climb to making the roster.
Williams was active for eight games last season for the Rams, but I wouldn’t rule out the team signing a veteran after training camp concludes.
Besides Williams, Earnest Brown could be in danger of missing out on a spot on the 53-man roster. Unlike Williams (who was undrafted), Brown was a fifth-round selection by the Rams in the 2021 NFL draft.
That being said, Brown was the only draft pick made by the Rams a season ago that failed to make the active roster. After not making the active roster last season, Brown signed a reserve/future contract with Los Angeles this offseason, so the team is giving him another chance.
Once again, there’s a chance the Rams search the open market for depth on the defensive line, which could put Brown on the roster bubble for the second straight year.
The inside linebacker position went from being a weakness to an absolute strength for the Rams this offseason. Los Angeles was able to sign Bobby Wagner following his release from the Seattle Seahawks and Ernest Jones flashed plenty of potential as a rookie in 2021.
Also, after being released earlier this offseason, the Rams re-signed Travin Howard. Provided that, Christian Rozeboom is going to have a tough time securing a roster spot for the 2022 season, especially since it’s unlikely the Rams keep four inside linebackers on their active roster.
In recent years, the Rams have continued to prioritize selecting defensive backs that can bring versatility to the defense. During the backend of this year’s draft, Los Angeles took two safeties in Quentin Lake and Russ Yeast that can bring a variety of skills to the defense.
Of the safeties on the current roster, Jordan Fuller, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, and Terrell Burgess appear to be on track to be on the 53-man roster. While Lake was selected ahead of Yeast in the draft, that doesn’t mean he’ll have the upper hand if it comes to down one of them making the roster.
We’ve seen that the Rams love having players with football pedigrees, and with Lake being the son of Carnell Lake, so if he performs well in training camp and the preseason, he could overcome being on the roster bubble.
Yeast was among three rookies the Rams took in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL draft. Despite his late-round selection, Yeast showed off his ball skills by intercepting four passes in his final collegiate season at Kansas State in 2021.
On top of that, Yeast played cornerback and safety in college, so the Rams could try to find multiple ways to keep him around. Seventh-round picks typically have a harder time making an NFL roster, putting Yeast in a position where he’ll need to flash his versatility in training camp and the preseason to make the roster for Week 1.
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