St. Louis Rams OT Darrell Williams Out for Season; Isaiah Battle to be Promoted from Practice Squad


As if the St. Louis Rams hadn’t dealt with enough following an ugly season-ending injury to starting guard Jamon Brown on Sunday, things just got worse on Monday, as it was announced that backup offensive tackle Darrell Williams will miss the rest of the season with a dislocated wrist. Williams, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound undrafted rookie from South Florida, had surgery to fix the injury following yesterday’s 37-13 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Though Williams had not yet started a game for the Rams, he did come in to replace starting right tackle Rob Havenstein on two separate occasions: two weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers, when Havenstein dealt with an ankle injury, and in Sunday’s loss to the Bears, when Havenstein sustained a calf injury. In a major testament to Williams’ strength and resiliency, he finished the game despite suffering the injury on the same play that Brown suffered his season-ending injury, which came with roughly four minutes left in the fourth quarter. In other words, Williams participated in five plays with a dislocated wrist.

Williams probably would have started at right tackle on Sunday at Baltimore, with Havenstein unlikely to play with a calf injury that head coach Jeff Fisher termed as “day-to-day or week-to-week” on Monday. With Williams now out of the picture, the most likely scenario would seem to be for rookie fourth-rounder Andrew Donnal to start at left guard, just as he did last week at Minnesota, with Garrett Reynolds kicking back outside to right tackle. With the large amount of uncertainty that currently surrounds the Rams’ line, though, it’s really anyone’s guess as to how the starting five will look against the Ravens.

More from Arch Authority

With both Williams and Brown going on injured reserve, the Rams will have two open spots on the 53-man roster. One of those spots will be filled by rookie offensive tackle Isaiah Battle, who had spent the season to date on the practice squad. Battle, a supplemental fifth-rounder who was taken out of Clemson this past July, had a horrid preseason and was beaten out for a roster spot by the undrafted Williams.

Even if Battle has made progress during his 10 weeks on the practice squad, it’s difficult to see this move being anything more than a protective measure by the Rams to prevent other teams from poaching their draft pick off the practice squad. Battle, who is listed at 6-foot-7 and 290 pounds, did not look playable in the slightest during the preseason, and it would be a shock if the Rams’ coaching staff even kept him up on the gameday roster, risking the chance that he could be thrown to the wolves if an injury occurred on the offensive line.

The Rams will almost certainly have to sign an established lineman to provide some depth behind their starting five. Judging by Fisher’s previous tendency to bring back players who know his system when faced with an in-season injury crisis such as this one, guys like Brandon Washington and Travis Bond would seem to be candidates to return. Even if it’s someone like 31-year-old guard Davin Joseph, who started 13 games for the Rams last year but has not played for any team during 2015, the Rams would get some comfort out of having a veteran among the group as they face the possibility of having to start rookie fourth and sixth-rounders next week.

Brown and Williams will be the fourth and fifth Rams players to head to injured reserve this season.

Next: Rams Bench QB Nick Foles, Name Case Keenum Starter

Head to our Rams page for more news and updates, including info about who the Rams end up signing to fill Williams’ roster spot.