The Rams made major changes to their starting lineup on Sunday against the Cardinals, but not because they wanted to. Either due to injury or COVID-19, they were without Jared Goff, Cooper Kupp, Michael Brockers and Darrell Henderson, all of whom contributed in big ways this season.
John Wolford got the start at quarterback, Morgan Fox took over at defensive end and Van Jefferson earned a lot of playing time in Kupp’s absence, causing a shakeup in the snap counts. Despite missing so many players, the Rams still pulled off a win, beating the Cardinals 18-7 at home.
Here’s a look at the snap counts for every position group in Week 17.
Quarterback: John Wolford didn’t miss a single snap in his NFL debut, playing all 73 plays on offense. Running backs: Despite coming in as questionable, Cam Akers received a full workload, carrying the ball 21 times for 34 yards in 48 snaps played (66%). Malcolm Brown played 23 snaps as the No. 2 running back, which amounted to 32%. Wide receivers: Robert Woods came off the field for only one snap, playing 99% on Sunday. With Kupp out, Josh Reynolds and Jefferson both played more than usual, with Reynolds earning a 75% snap share and Jefferson 60%. No other wide receiver played a snap on offense. Tight ends: Tyler Higbee once again played the most snaps at tight end (82%), followed by Gerald Everett (67%) and Johnny Mundt (19%). Without Kupp, it’s no surprise the Rams used their tight ends more often. Offensive line: None of the Rams’ offensive linemen missed a snap.
Defensive line: Aaron Donald got slightly more plays off than usual, earning a 77% snap share against the Cardinals. Morgan Fox was second with 60% of the defensive snaps played, with Sebastian Joseph-Day third (53%). A’Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines played 15 snaps each, helping fill the void left by Brockers. Donald and Fox were especially good on Sunday. Inside linebackers: Troy Reeder played 92% of the defensive snaps, most on the team again. Kenny Young played 21 snaps as the No. 2 linebacker. Both players could see their roles reduced in the playoffs if Micah Kiser returns as the starter inside. Outside linebackers: Leonard Floyd played 75% to lead all outside linebackers again. Justin Hollins assumed his usual role on the other side with a 42% snap share. Samson Ebukam led the team with two sacks in only 13 plays, with Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (11), Terrell Lewis (10) and Derek Rivers (8) rounding out the group. Cornerbacks: Jalen Ramsey and Troy hill remained the base cornerbacks with a snap share of 100% and 98%, respectively, but Darious Williams was also on the field a ton thanks to the Rams’ heavy usage of nickel packages. He played 91%, his most since Week 13 – also against the Cardinals. David Long played one snap. Safeties: Jordan Fuller and John Johnson were on the field for every snap, which is par for the course. Nick Scott was the third safety, playing 18 snaps in sub-packages.