Rams Rumors

Rams Release K Cairo Santos

To make room for the addition of wide receiver Nick Williams, the Rams cut kicker Cairo Santos. This likely signals Greg Zuerlein will be ready to return this week.

Santos served as Los Angeles’ kicker for the past two games, making 5 of 6 field goal attempts and 5 of 6 extra points. While it’s possible the Rams could seek another replacement kicker, in the event Zuerlein still isn’t ready to come back, Sean McVay‘s hinted at his top kicker being on the cusp of a return from his groin injury for multiple weeks now.

Santos played three seasons with the Chiefs, but a groin injury he sustained during warmups before a game in Los Angeles last season sidetracked his career. The Chiefs soon added current kicker Harrison Butker, and Santos — who did kick in two games for the Bears last season as well — has not been able to land a full-time gig since.

The Brazilian specialist took over Zuerlein-fill-in duties from Sam Ficken, whom the Rams cut earlier this season. Zuerlein has now missed five of the Rams’ six games since suffering an injury that kept him out of Week 2.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams To Sign WR Nick Williams

The Rams are set to sign wide receiver Nick Williams, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Williams, a former UDFA of the Redskins, has history with coach Sean McVay and could contribute quickly thanks to his familiarity with the offensive system. 

Cooper Kupp is expected to miss at least one game, so the Rams were in need of support. If Williams is on the active roster, he’ll have an opportunity to contribute this Sunday against the 49ers.

Williams appeared in two games for the Titans this season, but was let go earlier this month after dropping a would-be go-ahead touchdown pass against the Bills. It was a bad play for the 27-year-old (28 in November) and he’ll seek redemption in Los Angeles.

The 6-0 Rams will rely on Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods as their top receivers while Kupp is out, but Williams will be among the depth options on hand.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams K Greg Zuerlein Still A Week Away

Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein is expected to miss at least one more week while dealing with a groin injury, head coach Sean McVay told reporters, including Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Zuerlein suffered his injury during pregame warmups prior to Week 2, but given his skill and recovery timeline, Los Angeles opted to not place him Zuerlein on injured reserve, which would have mandated an absence of at least eight games. Instead, the Rams went with Sam Ficken for two games, during which he converted only one-of-three field goals, before signing veteran Cairo Santos in advance of Week 5. Santos made both of his field goal attempts on Sunday, but missed one-of-four extra points.

Zuerlein, of course, is one of the NFL’s best kickers, and earned both first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 2017. He ranked third last season with a 95% field goal conversion rate, and made six-of-seven attempts from 50+ yards. Per Football Outsiders, Zuerlein’s work on field goals and extra points added 11.3 points of field position, good for fifth in the league.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/9/18

Here are today’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Practice Squad Updates: 10/9/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: LB Brandon Chubb
  • Released QB: Connor Cook

Dallas Cowboys

  • Released: RB Bo Scarbrough

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: RB Tra Carson, WR Keon Hatcher
  • Released: RB Joel Bouagnon

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Placed On PS-IR: LB Robert McCray

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

  • Signed: RB Kenneth Farrow

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/8/18

Here are Monday’s practice squad decisions:

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Signed: NT Niles Scott

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Jets

  • Signed: DL Bronson Kaufasi
  • Cut: T Dieguot Joseph

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/8/18

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Los Angeles Rams

  • Claimed: CB Darious Williams

Tennessee Titans

Colts Move G Matt Slauson To IR

Matt Slauson started the first five games of the Colts’ season as their right guard. He won’t be able to suit up again for a while.

This is a strange move given Slauson’s recent work. He played all 83 snaps against the Patriots in Week 5. Nevertheless, he’ll spend at least eight weeks on IR. The Colts signed offensive lineman Evan Boehm off the Rams’ practice squad.

This news comes for a Colts team that could not use some of the players they kept on their game-day roster against the Patriots. And Indianapolis lost more players during the game. Now, either Slauson suffered an injury during the game and played through it — or has been playing through one that worsened recently — or the ninth-year blocker sustained another injury in between then and now.

The Colts signed Slauson to a one-year, $3MM deal this offseason. He moved into their starting lineup opposite first-rounder Quenton Nelson and played well. Both Colts guards graded as top-30 players, in the view of Pro Football Focus, through five games.

Slauson finished last season on IR as well. A biceps injury ended Slauson’s final Chargers season after seven games. However, he started all 16 contests for the 2016 Bolts at center. He’s been back at guard, his initial NFL position, for the past two seasons. The Colts, though, will need a new guard to step in when they resume their schedule.

A fourth-round pick in 2016, Boehm started eight games for the Cardinals last season. He did not make the Cards’ 53-man roster this year and instead latched on with the Rams’ practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mark Barron In Line To Debut Sunday

Despite the Rams‘ dominance through four games, they haven’t deployed much in the way of name talent at linebacker. They traded Alec Ogletree to the Giants and shipped Robert Quinn to the Dolphins. Los Angeles is in line to have its top current ‘backer back in Week 5, however. Sean McVay expects Barron to make his season debut against the Seahawks after missing the first four games due to a lingering Achilles injury that caused him to miss all of Los Angeles’ offseason program.

We’ve kind of got a plan in place where we’re anticipating him being able to go. And that’s subject to change based on how he responds. But he’s feeling good up to this point,” McVay said, via Myles Simmons of TheRams.com. “We’re hopeful to be able to get him back and if that’s the case we’ll be excited to get Mark out there.”

Barron started 44 games for the Rams the past four seasons and is in the third season of a five-year, $45MM contract. The Rams have started Cory Littleton and Ramik Wilson at inside linebacker this season.

  • Although McVay said earlier this week Greg Zuerlein had a chance to return Sunday, that probably remains at least a week away. The second-year Rams coach said the signing of Cairo Santos likely indicates Zuerlein is still a bit way from resuming his season. He’s been sidelined since Week 2 warmups after sustaining a groin injury.