Inside linebacker Mark Barron has not played in the first four games of the 2018 season, but he is on track to start on Sunday after getting through the week of practice.
"By the looks of it," head coach Sean McVay said, "feeling good about Mark Barron's availability for the game."
Barron would slot next to Cory Littleton in Los Angeles' scheme as the "Mo" inside linebacker. Littleton will continue to call the defensive signals as the club's "Mike" ILB.
"I think it gives us a great player back in the mix. Good communicator, has great athleticism to be able to play sideline-to-sideline, good understanding of what we're trying to get done," McVay said. "We'll watch him and see how he feels. Then, obviously tomorrow and leading up into the game, we'll be able to kind of have a better evaluation of what does that snap count look like. But, if Mark's going to go, we certainly want to take advantage of that and get him out there and contribute for our defense."
On Thursday, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said he does anticipate Barron being on some kind of snap count restriction for this week.
Following Friday's session, Barron said that he's feeling "functional" and that he is prepared to play even through discomfort.
"I feel like I can go out and perform if I needed to," Barron said. "But, that's right now. And I've got to see I recover from the last two days of practice. And once I go out on gameday, we'll see how I feel."
The weather, however, could be a factor in Barron's potential availability. The linebacker said there are games where he's been able to play even in cold weather, and other games where he's felt too much discomfort.
"It probably could — it has before. But you never know," Barron said.
In his fifth year with the Rams after being traded from the Buccaneers during the 2014 season, Barron feels like he can bring his consistent presence back to Los Angeles' defense.
"I feel like we've been playing good ball," Barron said. "Obviously, we're 4-0 so we've been doing enough to win. Hopefully, I just come out and add to it."
"Very smart, instinctual player. You see why he was a top pick coming out of college," McVay said. "That athleticism, where he's a safety at Alabama, played safety early on in his career and then transitions when he got traded to the Rams and he's been excellent as a linebacker playing that inside spot. We're excited about getting him back."
Elsewhere on Los Angeles' injury report, tight end Tyler Higbee (knee) is listed as questionable. He did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was in on a limited basis on Friday.
As expected, kicker Greg Zuerlein has been declared out.
In positive news, returner JoJo Natson is expected to play after going through a full practice on both Thursday and Friday.
For Seattle, offensive guard Ethan Pocic (ankle) is listed as questionable, as is defensive end Frank Clark — who has not practiced all week with an illness.
Linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) and defensive end Rasheem Green (ankle) have been declared out.
Below is the full injury report for both teams.
Ahead of Sunday's Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks Week 1 matchup, take a look back at photos of historical matchups between the divisional opponents.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
K Greg Zuerlein (groin)
ILB Mark Barron (ankle)
TE Tyler Higbee (knee)
LB K.J. Wright (knee)
DE Rasheem Green (ankle)
OG Ethan Pocic (ankle)
DE Frank Clark (illness)