As the Los Angeles Rams head into their most crucial game of the 2019 season they are getting some players back on the field. They are still humbled by the injury bug. John Johnson III, Robert Woods (family issues), Rob Havenstein, etc. are all expected to miss the Monday Night Bout against the Ravens. What NFL team isn’t missing starters at this point in the season though? With all these names out of the equation for the Rams, some under-the-radar players can make their mark on the field Monday night.
Sebastian Joseph-Day, Nose Tackle
The Rams run defense has become one of the best in the entire NFL. The man in the middle of that run-stuffing defense is Sebastian Joseph-Day. Behind Joseph-Day and the rest of the defensive line have become a top-five run defense and a top-eleven overall defense. Since the acquisition of Jalen Ramsey, the defense has been elite. The Rams now face the best rushing team in the NFL in the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. It poses the biggest challenge of the season for SJD.
Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram are one of the best rushing one-two duos in the league. If Joseph-Day can plug up the middle and get the same type of push he has gotten the past few weeks, the Rams run defense will be elite again. That is why he is important. It is why he has such a big chance to have a shot at being the player of the game. Run defense is the key to a win, and Joseph-Day is in the middle of it.
Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver
Brandin Cooks will return to football following his concussion(s) and he will be starting again for the Los Angeles Rams. I’m not the only one who is worried about his health, but I will put that aside for this game. Cooks being back is huge for this Rams offense. He, along with Robert Woods, will contribute more than what shows up on the stat sheet for this Rams team and right now. This is a team that could use more players like that.
The Ravens are deploying a defense that employs Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Earl Thomas, etc. in the secondary so the deeper the better for the Rams receiving core. Cooks will be an important puzzle piece for the Rams on offense as always.
Austin Blythe, Center
As long as Jared Goff and Austin Blythe communicate well they can perform at a high level. They showed us that last week. The center position continues to be the most important on the offensive line for the Rams, and Blythe was chosen to plug-and-play at that position. Can he direct and block a good enough game to the point where healthy Todd Gurley and Jared Goff can perform without pressure? If last week against the Bears showed me anything, Sean McVay and the Rams OL can adapt and perform. They’ll have to if they want to beat the Ravens.
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