Thanksgiving Shuffle: Mark Clayton to IR, Changes at OL

Another week, another shuffle in the roster. Mark Clayton’s grueling comeback from patellar tendon surgery — mostly done on his own, and on his own dime — ended disappointingly as the WR never got back to full game speed. The Rams placed him on IR yesterday, and have reportedly (according to Martin Kilcoyne at KFNS) made yet another change on the offensive line. Goldberg moves to LT, and Harvey Dahl and deposed center Jason Brown each slide over a spot on the right side. 

At this point in the season, it might be easier to list the players and positions that haven’t seen change, than those that thave: 

On Offense: 

LG: Jacob Bell
RG-RT: Harvey Dahl

On Defense: 

DE Chris Long
DE James Hall
DT Fred Robbins
DT Justin Bannan
LB James Laurinaitis
S Quintin Mikell
S Darian Stewart 

There’s your list, in its entirety, of Rams from our starting 22 that have played all ten games this season. (I had Brandon Gibson on the list too, but forgot about his non-injury benching in Week 7.) 

According to last week’s Fox broadcast, the Rams have lost 20% of their roster to the IR this season. Given that 20% of 53 is 11, I think that number might actually be low. We’ve lost nearly that many cornerbacks, let alone players at other positions. 

Even as the pile of the dead rises outside Rams Park, the clock is ticking on the remainder of the season, and on the remainder of the current regime’s job audition. For his part, Peter King thinks he thinks (in this week’s print edition of SI) that Spagnuolo needs another four wins in these next six games to keep his job. I had the count at seven wins myself, thinking that the Rams needed to not lose ground on last season.

While the failed chemistry experiment on defense cost the Rams a number of early chances at wins, Bernie Miklasz points out that Spagnuolo’s unit has actually improved dramatically over the last month. Now it’s the offense that is under fire.

If the Rams respond with an offensive explosion this week against Arizona, maybe we’ll be able to see it as something to build on. Having anything at all to build on from this lost season would be an improvement.