Rams Lose LB Alec Ogletree for Extended Period with Ankle Injury


While the Rams picked up a major win on Sunday, defeating the 3-0 Arizona Cardinals to go to 2-2 on the season, they also suffered a major loss. Third-year linebacker Alec Ogletree suffered an ankle injury during the third quarter and had to be carted off. Head coach Jeff Fisher announced following the game that Ogletree would require surgery and could miss the rest of the season, but even in the best of scenarios would be out long enough that he’d need to be placed on the injured reserve-designated for return list.

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Ogletree was the Rams’ leading tackler going into Sunday’s game, as he had 32 stops and a career-high two sacks. According to ESPN stats, Ogletree also led the Rams with 10 tackles (two for loss) against Arizona before exiting in the third quarter. After a bit of a sophomore slump in 2014, particularly over the first half of the season, Ogletree looked like he was really ready to break out this season and position himself as a possible Pro Bowl candidate at linebacker.
With Ogletree down, there’s been talk about special-teamers Daren Bates and Cameron Lynch stepping into his role. The most logical move, however, may just be to elevate safety/linebacker Mark Barron to a full-time role at the weakside spot, with strongside linebacker Akeem Ayers getting a little bit more playing time in order to free up Barron to play his typical hybrid role in certain situations. Once second-year safety Maurice Alexander returns from a groin injury, though, it might make sense just to promote him to the Swiss Army Knife role that Barron has played since coming to the Rams at the trade deadline last season. After all, the Rams drafted Alexander, a former linebacker, with the intent of making him a legitimate defensive contributor, and he’s shown the skills to warrant playing time from scrimmage since breaking in as a special-teamer in the second half of last season.

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Since the Rams don’t have a linebacker waiting in the wings on their practice squad, don’t be surprised if Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who was released during the team’s final cutdown this year, is brought back to fill Ogletree’s roster spot. Another candidate could be Marshall McFadden, a skilled special-teamer who was also released at the end of the preseason. It would largely depend on whether the Rams trust guys like Barron, Ayers, and Bates to soak up Ogletree’s playing time, or if they want to add another player who’s tested from scrimmage to help plug the hole in the defense.

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