Rams starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth avoided a season-ending knee injury, but the setback will land him on injured reserve, head coach Sean McVay told reporters during his Monday evening video conference.
"Whitworth had a grade 3 MCL/PCL, it will probably be something where he's out for a handful of time," McVay said. "Whether that be six weeks, whether that ends up being eight weeks, you don't really know. ... We were all worried it was for sure going to be season ending, and that's not going to be the case. So, the big fella came out with about as good as it could be given the way that it looked, but we will place him on IR at some point this week."
Whitworth went down with the knee injury with 1:33 remaining in the second quarter and had to be carted back to the locker room. He was replaced by Joe Noteboom. Noteboom, who had just been activated to the 53-man roster off injured reserve last week, "did an excellent job" on Sunday, according to McVay, and will remain the starting left tackle while Whitworth recovers.
Prior to the injury, Whitworth had been playing some of the best football of his 15-year NFL career. He has started every game with the Rams since signing with them in 2017.
"It's tough," Rams quarterback Jared Goff said postgame. "With everything that he's put on the line for all of us, you never want to see that happen."
For the time being, Whitworth is trying to make something positive out of an adverse situation, viewing it as an opportunity to find new ways to lead his Rams teammates.
Additionally, safety Taylor Rapp (knee) suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain, while kicker Kai Forbath suffered a lateral ankle sprain. McVay said those two will also be placed on injured reserve. Rapp is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, but no timetable was specified for Forbath. Surgery is not planned for Whitworth, Forbath or Rapp's injuries at this time.
With Forbath headed to injured reserve, McVay said the Rams will be bringing in veteran Matt Gay to compete with Austin MacGinnis for that starting job. MacGinnis was re-signed to the practice squad on Oct. 28 and was part of the initial competition with Lirim Hajrullahu and Samuel Sloman in training camp in August.
McVay also said outside linebacker Samson Ebukam is dealing with ankle inflammation but "should be okay."