5 most surprising players cut by the Rams

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After much delegation and plenty of difficult decisions, the Los Angeles Rams set their initial 53-man roster on Tuesday afternoon. They cut 18 players outright, waived another with an injury designation, traded Corey Bojorquez and placed Coleman Shelton on the reserve/COVID-19 list, all working down to the first iteration of the active roster.

There weren’t a ton of surprises coming from the Rams’ final cuts, but these five players looked like ones who could’ve made the team before Tuesday’s moves were made.

LB Micah Kiser

(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Kiser was a starter in the first half of last season but a knee injury caused him to miss a large chunk of time and even when he did return from IR, he didn’t contribute on defense. The Rams like the combination of Kenny Young and Troy Reeder at linebacker, with Travin Howard and Ernest Jones backing them up. Kiser is a limited linebacker whose best trait is stopping the run, but he isn’t great in coverage and that’s a necessity in today’s NFL. Even with a deep linebacker group, it’s somewhat surprising to see Kiser left off the 53-man roster.

RB Xavier Jones

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Jones being cut is a huge surprise, but it makes more sense after seeing he was waived/injured. The Rams are going with just three running backs instead of four, with Darrell Henderson Jr. and Sony Michel being the top two runners on the depth chart. Jake Funk proved he’s a capable player in the preseason and earned the night off against Denver in the finale, which led to Jones playing almost the entire game. It’s unfortunate that Jones suffered an Achilles injury in the final preseason gamethat will require surgery, Sean McVay said, which certainly played a role in the decision to waive him with an injury designation.

DE/OLB Earnest Brown IV

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Brown is the Rams’ only rookie draft pick who didn’t make the 53-man roster this year. Even though he was quiet in the preseason and throughout camp, it was unexpected to see his name among the players cut by Los Angeles – especially given his status as a fifth-round rookie. But this just goes to show that being drafted doesn’t ensure you a roster spot. Brown will now have to prove himself with another team or likely on the Rams’ practice squad. He’s a promising player but the lack of splash plays this summer did him in.

WR Trishton Jackson

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Jackson was edged out by rookie Ben Skowronek, who’s still recovering from a fractured forearm. Jackson made the team last year as an undrafted rookie, but the team opted to go with Skowronek instead heading into Week 1. Jackson flashed a few times in the preseason with impressive plays, but not enough to be the sixth receiver and the Rams weren’t going to keep seven on the team.

OLB Justin Lawler

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Lawler appeared poised to back up Leonard Floyd at left outside linebacker, especially after his impressive performance against the Chargers in the opener. But he was left off the roster and will likely get a crack at the practice squad where he can continue working in the Rams’ system. He’s not an explosive athlete, but Lawler finds ways to get to the quarterback and in the backfield. If they can consistently get the type of play he showed against the Chargers, he’d be a key player on defense in Los Angeles.

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