Ebukam Plays Well in First Career Start

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Outside linebacker Samson Ebukam became the fifth Rams rookie to start in a game this season, filling in for the injured Connor Barwin on Sunday.

"A dream come true," Ebukam said. "I thought I was going to get tired, but all the adrenaline was going through me so I wasn't ready to leave the field at all."

Although Week 13 marked the rookie's first career start, it wasn't his first time stepping into such a big role.

The fourth-round draft pick out of Eastern Washington has rotated in with Barwin's throughout the year. Through 12 games, Ebukam has made a name for himself as an important contributor on both special teams and defense — recording 20 total tackles, 2.0 sacks, and one forced fumble.

And while he has been a mainstay on field this season, Sunday was admittedly a bit nerve-wrecking for Ebukam.

But nerves aside, the rookie says he still had an "awesome" time in Sunday's win over the Cardinals.

"I think it went pretty good," he said. "I have to give thanks to the rest of the team because they really helped me out with a couple of the things I didn't know."

But pretty good is quite the understatement.

In all, Ebukam finished tied for second on the team with five solo tackles in 48 defensive snaps.
Head coach Sean McVay said he "thought Samson was outstanding," noting that there was no dropoff between the eight-year pro in Barwin and the rookie.

"He continued to show up down in and down out," McVay said. "I thought he made an influence in the rush package and did a nice job when we were playing in some of our base as well."

Overall, this weekend marked a good first step for Ebukam. He is expected to get the starting job once again in Week 14, as McVay said Barwin will "more than likely be out" for Sunday's contest against the Eagles.

Check out the best photos from the Los Angeles Rams 32-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

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