Although the Los Angeles Rams were unable to make it out of the offseason unscathed, the bulk of this roster is still largely intact leading up to the 2021 NFL season opener versus the Chicago Bears.
Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson has been sidelined since undergoing a minor knee procedure. However, the biggest loss the Rams suffered during training camp was that of running back Cam Akers, who will miss the season with a torn Achilles.
L.A. has since shored up some depth in the backfield behind Darrell Henderson by trading for former New England Patriots running back Sony Michel. Even if the timing of missing practice or being traded so close to the season opener was hardly ideal, head coach Sean McVay is optimistic that his team will be at full strength.
McVay says Robinson is on track to play versus the Bears, via Stu Jackson of the team’s official website:
“That was kind of the goal, and we’ll take it a day at a time with him,” McVay said after Monday’s practice. “He’s on track right now.”
McVay added that Michel has made some significant progress in learning the scheme and expects him to play a role in Week 1 as well:
“I’m very pleased (with his progress of learning the playbook so far),” McVay said of Michel. “I think (assistant head coach/running backs coach) Thomas (Brown) is a better person to ask that. In some of these settings where – you can get a good gage for guys where you go unscripted. When we’ve got 20 shots on offense where it’s all kind of pre-determined, you don’t always get the best gage. But he’s been intent in meetings. He’s got a good look in his eye. I know Thomas has been really pleased with him. And so he’s on track, and he’s doing the things that we had hoped up to this point.”
Getting a crash course on an offense as complex as McVay’s is certainly no easy task for Michel. Fortunately, the praise is a positive sign that the transition is coming along well for him leading up to the season opener.
While Michel will be tasked as a relief option in the backfield for Henderson, Robinson is expected to play an integral role alongside Aaron Donald up front. His progression in practice this week will be a strong indicator of his workload in Week 1.
Donald was notably impressed with Robinson’s notable improvement throughout training camp. His skill set as a proven run-stuffer will be needed if the Rams hope to be stingy on the ground like they were last year after giving up the third-fewest rushing yards per game (91.3).
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