Back in May when the NFL handed out a one-game suspension to guard Rokevious Watkins for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the St. Louis Rams and head coach Jeff Fisher stood by him. The team had mildly high hopes for their fifth round draft choice from 2012 that he could come into training camp and win the starting guard job.
So much for that.
The Rams plan to severe ties with the big man after he reported to camp well over the team’s prescribed weight limit for him. Back in June during OTAs, Watkins was doing well and in good shape after working hard with the team’s training staff. The severe ankle sprain that kept him out all of last season had recovered and he was by all accounts in decent physical condition.
In the five weeks that passed between then and the start of training camp, Watkins must have found himself with a few too many cheeseburgers. After the organization spent plenty of time and effort in trying to get him in good condition and practicing the proper healthy habits, this was the final straw for his time in St. Louis.
Shelley Smith manned the guard position for much of last season and will battle with veteran Chris Williams for the spot during camp. If rookie Barrett Jones can get himself back into camp, there’s no reason he can’t be a part of the competition either. With no shortage of replacement options, this move just made the most sense for the Rams to avoid future headaches.
As a big man (6-foot-3 338-pounds supposedly) Watkins should find another opportunity somewhere in the league. His strength and powerful hand punch give him the assets that teams covet in guys in the trenches, but his lack of work ethic is a definite drawback.
Somewhere, unfortunately, I’m sure Rok Watkins has himself a bag of Cheetos in hand right this minute.