St. Louis Rams to Re-Sign LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar


The St. Louis Rams suffered a big loss on Sunday, as linebacker Alec Ogletree was carted off the field during the third quarter of the Rams’ win over the Arizona Cardinals with an ankle injury that will require surgery. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Jim Thomas, however, the Rams already have an old friend lined up as a backup option: the man Ogletree replaced, Jo-Lonn Dunbar.

"Rams expected to re-sign LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar to fill roster spot of injured LB Alec Ogletree.— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) October 5, 2015"

It’s assumed that Ogletree will be placed on the injured reserve-designated for return list, though it’s highly possible that he won’t return this season. This will be Dunbar’s third stint with the Rams, as he was previously released in 2013 following a drug suspension but returned to the team after it was complete. He was released again during final cuts this year, as the Rams sought to employ a more special teams-focused group of backup linebackers with Daren Bates, Bryce Hager, and Cameron Lynch. None of those players, however, provides a particularly high amount of intrigue as a starter at the weakside position, so Dunbar will likely end up stepping into his old role and getting a chunk of the responsibilities that Ogletree, the Rams’ leading tackler, had in the defense up to now.

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The 30-year-old Dunbar was with the Rams from 2012-14 and was a starter for nearly all of that time, though he dropped from the full-time weakside position to the more limited strongside spot in 2013. Last year, he was very rarely used following the Rams’ acquisition of safety/linebacker hybrid Mark Barron, who took over many of the responsibilities that the strongside linebacker previously had. His best season with the Rams was in 2012, when he had 115 tackles with 4.5 sacks and two interceptions.

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