5 players who could have bigger roles for Rams in 2023

The NFL playoffs are underway, but the offseason is right around the corner. The Los Angeles Rams are among the teams that didn’t advance to the postseason in 2022 after securing an impressive Super Bowl victory in 2021.

Even though the Rams endured a bevy of injuries and they won only five games this season, it allowed them to get a decent look at some of their younger players. With the reigning Super Bowl champions looking to reconfigure their roster this offseason, some players could be asked to take on more next season.

Ahead of an offseason where the Rams will need to make some crucial decisions at multiple spots, here are five players who could have bigger roles with the team in 2023.

Tutu Atwell

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Tutu Atwell’s selection with the 57th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft was met with a ton of criticism from fans. The dynamic wideout failed to log a single stat on offense in his rookie season, but he was forced to see the field more this season.

With season-ending injuries to Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, the second-year wide receiver hauled in 18 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown while he also ran for 34 yards and another score. Those numbers don’t look impressive, however, Atwell proved that he can be an electric playmaker once Matthew Stafford returns in 2023.

Cam Akers

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

You can never rule out the possibility of Sean McVay adding another running back into the mix this offseason. But if they add a rookie that needs time to get acclimated, Cam Akers could see an expanded role — or at the very least — see the same usage he saw down the stretch this season.

After being put on the trade block earlier this season, Akers would accrue 512 yards and six touchdowns in the final six weeks of the season, including three straight 100-yard games. If the 23-year-old back can improve as a receiver this offseason, there is potential for him to see the field even more in 2023.

Jonah Williams

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The defensive line was another position ravaged by injuries this season, allowing some of the backups to get starting reps. Due to A’Shawn Robinson and Aaron Donald sustaining season-ending injuries, Jonah Williams started the final six games of this season at the defensive end spot.

The undrafted defensive lineman out of Weber State is a formidable run defender that could see more run in 2023 depending on what happens in the offseason. Robinson and Marquise Copeland are impending free agents, and Donald’s future with the Rams is unknown, so Williams is potentially poised for an increased role next season.

Cobie Durant

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Cobie Durant made an immediate impact in his rookie season, but an injury would sideline him for a few weeks early in the year. While the first-year cornerback was eased back in, he continued to flash plenty of potential in the secondary as he was voted as the team’s Rookie of the Year.

Durant finished with 22 combined tackles, five pass breakups, one sack, three interceptions, and one defensive touchdown in only seven games where he played a defensive snap. Troy Hill and David Long Jr. are set to hit free agency, making Durant a candidate to join the starting defense in 2023.

Derion Kendrick

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The other rookie cornerback on the Rams, Derion Kendrick, is also someone that could see more snaps in 2023. The first-year corner out of Georgia started in five games early in the season, and while he made some rookie mistakes, he showed that he’s got room for growth moving forward.

Kendrick is an aggressive cornerback that isn’t afraid to defend the run, evidenced by his 43 combined tackles and four pass breakups this season. Once again, with Hill and Long’s future with the Rams uncertain, Durant and Kendrick are poised to see the field more next season.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire