With the Rams’ starting 53-man roster set, the next step is to assemble their practice squad. They can keep 16 players on the practice squad, and typically those 16 players are guys who were cut by the Rams on cut day.
Los Angeles can start building its practice squad on Wednesday afternoon, but in order for players to be available to be signed, they must clear waivers, at least for those who are subject to waivers.
Here’s who we think the Rams could sign to their practice squad to start this season, keeping them in Los Angeles to develop a bit more.
Copeland was perhaps the biggest upset cut by the Rams this summer. He was signed to a one-year deal in free agency this offseason and seemed ready to help replace A’Shawn Robinson at defensive end, but he apparently didn’t do enough to earn himself that starting job, or even a backup role. .
OLB Daniel Hardy
Hardy was active for only six games as a rookie last year and struggled in the preseason this summer, leading to his cut in Year 2. The Rams still don’t have a lot of depth or pass-rushing talent, so that Hardy could continue to contribute in the future if someone gets hurt and is available on the practice squad.
Thomas was the Rams’ best running back this preseason, but it still didn’t get him a spot on the team. He led them with six pressures and three sacks, making eight tackles in the three games he played. It looked like Thomas was going to contribute this year after the preseason he had, but he’ll have to continue to prove himself in practice before landing on the 53-man roster.
The Rams waited until the last few moments to fire Bruss, suggesting it was a tough call. If he makes it through waivers, he’s an obvious candidate to land on the practice squad and continue to develop, either at right guard or tackle. The Rams can’t give him up entirely, even after surprisingly cutting him.
Rochell is a former fourth-round pick with a lot of athleticism, which makes him someone who should stay on the practice squad. Given his preseason play, it’s hard to imagine any team claiming him on waivers, giving the Rams a good shot at signing him to the practice squad. They don’t have a lot of corner depth with just five on the active roster, so Rochell can help in that regard.
Johnson was also one of the last three cuts from the Rams, indicating that it wasn’t an easy decision. He has produced in the NFL before and was the best receiver for him in the preseason, so it would stand to reason that they would bring him back in the hope that he can be the seventh receiver for him and potentially be activated on some game days. .
Ingle was cut in the first round of cuts, but he’s a player the Rams shouldn’t give up. He may be undersized, but he plays to the advantage and is a capable defender near the line of scrimmage, as we saw in the preseason opener when he recorded a sack against the Chargers. Ingle is a safety worth keeping in Los Angeles to help develop.
S. Quindell Johnson
Johnson shone in the preseason finale when he had 10 tackles, one sack and one pass deflection, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a spot on the team as an undrafted rookie. He’s a versatile defensive back who can play safety or slot, something the Rams should covet in the secondary. He has a lot of potential, even if he didn’t always show it during the offseason.
OT AJ Arcuri
Arcuri was a seventh-round pick last year and was active in eight games, one of them starting as a rookie. He’s a massive 6-foot-7, 320-pound tackle, but he’s yet to break into an NFL-caliber player. A year on the practice squad, while also giving him some additional depth as a possible player called up at some point this season, will do him some good.
Trammell was one of the Rams’ best receivers this preseason and has had experience in this system after spending last year in Los Angeles. He’s a perfect player to keep on the practice squad as an emergency wide receiver option, even if he’s not the biggest or fastest receiver.
CB Cameron McCutcheon
Cornerback depth is important in the NFL, and keeping McCutcheon on the practice squad gives the Rams a little more security at an important position. He was one of the Rams’ highest-rated defenders this preseason, allowing just three receptions on 10 targets for a total of 36 yards.
The Rams have only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, but they should keep at least one more on the practice squad. Unless they go out and sign someone else from another team, Rypien makes a lot of sense as a practice squad player because of the familiarity he’s gained with the Rams this offseason.
WR Xavier Smith
Smith has some potential as a return specialist, even if that wasn’t always in the offing this preseason. He made it through the first round of cuts, which was encouraging to see, and the Rams could keep him on the practice squad as an option in case his current comeback plan doesn’t work out.
Kalinic played in seven games and started two for the Colts last season, so at least he has some NFL experience. He had a decent preseason and scored a 70.7 as a run blocker, which is an important part of playing tight end in the Rams’ offense (and any offense, for that matter).
Brown was one of the best kickers in the country last year, but he struggled in spring training this August, making just two of his four field goal attempts. The Rams didn’t give him many opportunities in games, but he also didn’t take advantage of the limited opportunities he did. He’s not a bad young kicker to have on the practice squad in case things get shaky again at the position.
LB Jaiden Woodbey
The Rams only kept three inside linebackers on the 53-man roster, which is a small number. Woodbey was one of the last linebackers the team cut, so he could be someone they want to bring back to the practice squad to provide some depth behind Ernest Jones. Christian Rozeboom and Jake Hummel.