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ANALYSIS: Rams Initial 53-Man Roster

The Rams reduced their roster to the 53-man limit on Saturday — with a roster exemption for defensive tackle Aaron Donald allowing to club to currently carry 54 players. 

Here's a position-by-position look at Los Angeles' first 53-man roster of the 2018 season.

Check out photos of the first official 53-man roster players. Aaron Donald is on a roster exempt list.

QUARTERBACKS: Jared Goff, Sean Mannion, Brandon Allen

The Rams elected to keep the same quarterbacks room as they had last season. With Jared Goff the leader of the group and the offense, Sean Mannion is still Goff's backup. After L.A. claimed Allen off waivers from Jacksonville last year, he made the initial 53-man roster as the Rams' third quarterback.

RUNNING BACKS: Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, Justin Davis, John Kelly

After a strong preseason, Kelly made the initial 53-man roster. His performances in practices and games made that move expected. Though Davis did suffer a hamstring injury during camp at UC Irvine, he apparently had shown enough to remain on the active roster. Davis made the initial 53 last year as well, but was inactive for 12 games and appeared in only four.


WIDE RECEIVERS: Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, Pharoh Cooper, Josh Reynolds, Mike Thomas

Aside from the addition of Brandin Cooks, the Rams' wide receivers room remains largely the same. Thomas has been one of Los Angeles' key special teams contributors under coordinator John Fassel since he was drafted back in 2016 and that should continue in the upcoming season. Though KhaDarel Hodge impressed during the preseason, he did not make the initial 53-man roster. However, he could be a candidate for the club's practice squad.

TIGHT ENDS: Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Johnny Mundt

The Rams elected to carry only three tight ends on the initial roster. Everett missed much of training camp and did not play in the preseason with a shoulder injury, but he should be ready for Week 1. After spending time on both the active roster and practice squad last year, Mundt made the initial 53 in 2018. Temarrick Hemingway, who missed the 2017 season with a leg injury, was waived as part of the final roster cuts.

OFFENSIVE LINE: Andrew Whitworth, Rodger Saffold, John Sullivan, Rob Havenstein, Austin Blythe, Joe Noteboom, Brian Allen, Jamil Demby

The Rams elected to keep all three of their drafted rookie offensive linemen in Noteboom, Allen, and Demby. Los Angeles will likely begin the practice week with eight offensive linemen on the active roster, with Blythe potentially taking the first snaps of the season at right guard. Jamon Brown's suspension for the first two games of the season means he is not currently on the active roster.


DEFENSIVE LINE: Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh, (Aaron Donald), Ethan Westbrooks, Tanzel Smart, John Franklin-Myers, Sebastian Joseph-Day

While Aaron Donald has returned, he technically does not yet count against the Rams' 53-man roster limit as the club received a roster exemption for him. Franklin-Myers had a solid camp and appears as if he could play a significant rotational role this season.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: Samson Ebukam, Matt Longacre, Dominique Easley, Trevon Young, Justin Lawler

Los Angeles elected to keep drafted players Young and Lawler on the roster to supplement Ebukam, Longacre, and Easley. Fifth-round pick Obo Okoronkwo remains on the physically unable to perform list, which means he will miss at least the first six weeks of the season.


INSIDE LINEBACKER: Cory Littleton, Mark Barron, Ramik Wilson, Bryce Hager, Micah Kiser

Los Angeles will initially carry five players at inside linebacker, including the rookie Kiser. L.A. did waive seventh-round pick Travin Howard with an injury designation, meaning there's a possibility that he will remain with the club on injured reserve.

CORNERBACK: Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Sam Shields, Troy Hill

No surprises at cornerback, which is a heavily veteran group for Los Angeles. Shields will likely be on a gameday roster for the first time in two years on Sept. 10 when the Rams play the Raiders.


SAFETY: Lamarcus Joyner, John Johnson, Blake Countess, Marqui Christian, Isaiah Johnson

Led by Joyner and Johnson, the Rams have five safeties on their initial roster. Head coach Sean McVay has complimented Christian for his strong preseason, saying that Christian could appear in certain defensive packages.

SPECIALISTS: Greg Zuerlein (kicker), Johnny Hekker (punter), Jake McQuaide (long snapper), Pharoh Cooper (returner)

Nothing changes for Los Angeles' specialists, as Pro Bowlers Zuerlein, Hekker, McQuaide, and Cooper are all back for another season in Los Angeles.

*Italics = rookie