The St. Louis Rams may have already made one significant roster cut on Monday, but the next big downsizing event is coming soon. Friday is when all 32 teams have to get to the regular season 53-man roster size and some significant names are on the bubble at the moment.
One player who is really moving up and no longer in danger of missing the cut is seventh-round running back Daryl Richardson. The Rams selected Isaiah Pead in the second-round, but Richardson has outshone him of late and is pushing for the backup slot behind starter Steven Jackson. At 5’10” and 195lbs., Richardson isn’t a physically imposing back by any stretch, but his decisive running style is what has given him the lead on Pead in the eyes of the coaching staff.
When Jason Smith was dealt for Wayne Hunter, the Rams basically anointed Barry Richardson the team’s starting right tackle. That means that both Joe Long and T-Bob Hebert are likely going to be cut on Friday. Each should stick with the practice squad because depth on the offensive line is always nice to have in your back pocket.
Danario Alexander’s release in the first round of roster cuts signaled that the wide receiver position is pretty much set in stone. Both Nick Johnson and Mike Campbell will make one last push to make the squad, but the likely six to remain are Danny Amendola, Brian Quick, Chris Givens, Steve Smith, Greg Salas and Brandon Gibson. Austin Pettis is suspended for the first two games on a carryover PED ban from last season.
The most intriguing area is the defensive backfield, where the Rams were particularly weak a year ago, but now find a plethora of options available. Rookie corner Janoris Jenkins is still penciled in as a starter, but he needs to improve on a disappointing outing against the Dallas Cowboys if he wants to hold onto that spot. Capable players like Kendric Burney and Quinton Pointer are likely to be shown the door at the final cut-down.
The final roster is now taking shape for the St Louis Rams and it looks much deeper than the one from a year ago. That bodes well for the club improving on a disappointing record from the last handful of seasons.
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