Good news Rams fans, coach Sean McVay has not reported a single injury all week. The Rams are completely healthy coming into the regular season. This is impressive for an NFL team, to have no injuries on their 53-man roster coming into the regular season. Unfortunately, Aaron Donald is essentially operating as an injured player. The Rams star defensive tackle is officially ruled out for week one.
The Rams have many players, primarily on the defensive side of the ball, who did not appear in the preseason due to injury. These players include Robert Quinn, Mark Barron, and Kayvon Webster. All three will be starters and key players on the Rams defensive unit and look to play a big role, but were nursing injuries. Rather than push them and risk their readiness coach Sean McVay made it his goal to have them ready to go for week one. It appears that McVay’s plan was a success, as all three will be a full go on Sunday.
The only question remaining is if these players will be ready to go mentally, seeing their first game action. Barron and Quinn are playing in a new defensive system, Webster on a new team. Hopefully the lack of game experience this year will not come back to bite the team.
The same goes for Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin. However, there is a possible added benefit to Austin’s lack of preseason action. The Colts have no idea how Austin will be used in his new coach’s offense. He is a dynamic playmaker who could prove very dangerous if McVay dials up creative ways to get him into open space.
The Rams star defensive lineman is still holding out due to a contract dispute, and was ruled out by coach Sean McVay on Friday. This is a huge loss for the Rams, Donald is the Rams best player. Quite frankly, there is rarely a time that Donald is not the best player on the field in general. He is an absolute beast, bursting onto the scene his rookie year. Hopefully the Rams and Donald can get something worked out soon, as Donald holds the keys to their success. (My colleague Curtis Rawls recently wrote an article detailing the Donald situation, it can be found here.)
The Rams are fortunate to come into week one healthy. However, Aaron Donald’s absence is essentially an injury, if not worse. Nonetheless, the Rams seem to have a better injury situation than their opponents. The Colts are missing quarterback Andrew Luck, cornerback Vontae Davis, and center Ryan Kelly, among others.