5 Rams to watch in preseason Week 3 vs. Bengals

The Los Angeles Rams are set to conclude their preseason schedule versus the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night. It will be a rematch of last season’s Super Bowl, though, not many of the starters in that game will be active in Saturday’s contest – if any at all.

With it being the final week of the preseason, this is the final chance for certain players to earn a spot on the 53-man rosters for the regular season. Even if a player has a strong showing on Saturday and doesn’t secure a spot on the active roster, it could be enough to catch the attention of another team.

Taking all of that into consideration, here are five Rams players to watch in their preseason finale versus the Bengals.

RB Kyren Williams

Both Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr. are dealing with soft-tissue injuries for the Rams right now and have been absent from practice recently. Los Angeles doesn’t expect Akers or Henderson to be in danger of missing the regular-season opener against the Buffalo Bills, but their absences are giving the other running backs more opportunities to get meaningful reps.

One of the running backs that has gotten more run in practice is Kyren Williams. The rookie fifth-round pick out of Notre Dame suffered a broken foot earlier in the offseason, however, he’s returned to practice recently and is set to make his preseason debut on Saturday.

Despite missing most of training camp and the preseason, Williams is essentially locked into a roster spot with the Rams in 2022, especially with Akers and Henderson having injury histories of their own. That being said, Los Angeles would love to see the first-year back be productive in his first NFL action.

OL Bobby Evans

When the snap counts came out for the Rams’ Week 2 preseason bout with the Houston Texans, it showed that Bobby Evans is going to have an uphill climb to make the roster. Evans was joined by Jeremiah Kolone as the only players on the Rams that played every snap on either side of the ball last week.

Los Angeles took Evans in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft in hopes he could develop into a consistent contributor on the offensive line. While the 25-year-old offensive lineman has started in eight games in his three-year career thus far, he’s struggled to flash consistency at any of the positions he’s played.

The season-ending injury to Logan Bruss could increase the likeliness of Evans remaining with the Rams beyond the preseason. Regardless of that, the Oklahoma product will need a strong outing against the Bengals if he wants a chance to stick around as the reigning Super Bowl champions could peruse the open market once other teams make their roster cuts.

DL Jonah Williams

There have been a handful of standout players for the Rams this preseason and Jonah Williams has been one of them. Williams put together a strong performance in last week’s exhibition game versus the Texans, tallying four tackles, one sack, and a forced fumble.

The former undrafted free agent out of Weber State first got involved with the Rams back in 2020. After failing to make the active roster in 2020, Williams was active for eight games in 2021 en route to winning a Super Bowl.

Entering the preseason finale, Aaron Donald, Greg Gaines, A’Shawn Robinson, and Marquise Copeland appear to be the only defensive linemen that have locked in roster spots. Considering that Bobby Brown is suspended to begin the 2022 campaign, another strong showing from Williams on Saturday could keep him ahead of Michael Hoecht and Earnest Brown on the depth chart.

LB Jake Hummel

Jake Hummel was among the 17 undrafted rookies the Rams signed after the 2022 NFL draft and he’s certainly made the most of his opportunities this preseason. In the first two preseason contests, Hummel has combined for 17 tackles while logging the most snaps among all defenders in the team’s Week 2 preseason matchups with Houston.

The Iowa State product notched 80 total tackles in each of his final two collegiate seasons, so he’s solid at stopping the run. Even with Hummel’s impressive first two games in the preseason, he still has an uphill climb to making the roster.

Bobby Wagner, Ernest Jones, and Travin Howard are all considered to have secure roles with the Rams in 2022. Seeing that Howard has a solid chance to be ready for Week 1 despite undergoing core muscle surgery in July, Hummel has to beat out the likes of Jake Gervase and Christian Rozeboom, though, landing on the practice squad is certainly a possibility.

CB Grant Haley

The Rams have not played many of their marquee players in their secondary this preseason, including the likes of Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill, David Long Jr., Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, or Jordan Fuller. At the cornerback position, Los Angeles has elected to get a long look at some of the younger guys, which means Grant Haley has gotten more reps.

Haley isn’t a rookie or a second-year player, but he’s failed to start in a game after starting in 12 games in his first two years with the New York Giants. The former undrafted defensive back out of Penn State has performed well in the preseason thus far, however, it remains to be seen if the Rams elect to keep more than six cornerbacks on their 53-man roster.

Besides Ramsey, Hill, and Long, Robert Rochell, Derion Kendrick, and Decobie Durant are essentially guaranteed to be on the active roster in Week 1. Haley will need to edge out Tyler Hall and Duron Lowe with a productive performance against Cincinnati if Los Angeles chooses to maintain seven cornerbacks entering the upcoming season.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire