Rams injury problems mount on offense, in secondary

The beleaguered Rams received more bad news on Tuesday.

A day after his team was crushed by the San Francisco 49ers, coach Sean McVay said center Coleman Shelton would be sidelined four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain and Jordan Fuller would be sidelined two to four weeks with a hamstring injury.

The Rams (2-2) play the rising Dallas Cowboys (3-1) at SoFi Stadium Sunday with a team thinned by injuries along the offensive line, receiver corps and secondary.

“We’ve had more moving parts than ever since I’ve been going into the early part of the season,” McVay said during a video call with reporters.

Center Brian Allen is making progress on his return from a knee injury sustained during the season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills, but it remains uncertain if he will return this week or next, McVay said.

That means the Rams could play the Cowboys, with third-string Jeremiah Kolone snapping again at quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was sacked seven times during the 24-9 loss to the 49ers. The Rams could also lift veteran center Matt Skura off the practice team.

Guard David Edwards remains on concussion log after sitting against the 49ers.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed for him to get out of there and be available this week,” McVay said.

Shelton’s absence on Sunday leaves Stafford behind a different starting line for the fifth time in five games.

Stafford has been sacked 16 times — ranked second in the NFL, with all but two coming in two games. Stafford was sacked seven times by the Bills and then once in victories over the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals.

Like the Bills, the 49ers overpowered the Rams’ line.

“Some of those were just mental mistakes that aren’t typical of our players,” McVay said. “We want to try to minimize the number of times our quarterback gets hit.

“The way these two games have played out is not ideal.”

Linebacker Micah Parsons and ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Dorance Armstrong are among the standouts for a Cowboys defense that has amassed 15 sacks, making it the second-highest in the NFL.

That will be just one of the challenges facing the reigning Super Bowl champion Rams as they try to recover from their seventh straight regular-season loss to the 49ers.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott hasn’t played since injuring his thumb in a season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but substitute Cooper Rush has guided the Cowboys to victories over the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants and Washington Commanders.

“They’ve caught fire lately,” Rams linebacker Justin Hollins said after Monday night’s loss. “So we have to go into the movie room, see what they did, and come out ready.”

Along with the offensive line’s problems, receiver Van Jefferson remains on injured reserve while he rehabs from knee surgery performed during training camp. Cornerbacks David Long and Cobie Durant sat out their last two games with groin and hamstring injuries, respectively.

The lack of continuity due to injuries is no excuse for the team’s performance for nearly a quarter of the season, McVay said.

“I’m not sitting here apologizing for why we did or didn’t do the things that might be in line with our expectations,” he said, “but there’s a lot of football to be played.”

Etc.

Receiver Tutu Atwell, a second-round draft pick in 2021, was inactive against the 49ers because of the Rams’ “overall approach” to the game, McVay said. Atwell has no catch and does not play on special teams. “It was really just exclusive to [Monday] — nothing Tutu hasn’t done,” McVay said. “We’ll see what that means for his status this week.” …McVay on linebacker Bobby Wagner’s hit on the man who ran onto the field with a smoke bomb: “Bobby has a way of solving problems easily. He does.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2022-10-04/rams-injury-problems-mount-on-offense-line-receivers-secondary Rams injury problems mount on offense, in secondary

Emma Bowman

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