The Rams could have as many as three of their starters returning from injury on Sunday.
While the expectation all week has been for middle linebacker Alec Ogletree to start after hyperextending his elbow against the Cardinals, wide receiver Robert Woods (shoulder) and outside linebacker Connor Barwin (forearm) could be back, too. All three were limited in practice on Friday and all three are listed as questionable for Sunday’s contest.
While linebacker Mark Barron was also limited throughout the week, McVay said Los Angeles feels good about both starting inside linebackers’ availability for Sunday.
“We’re going to continue to evaluate these guys over the next 48 hours, but we are anticipating them ready to go,” McVay said. “And if not, then those other guys will be ready to step up.”
If Ogletree is unable to play, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said on Thursday that he thought Bryce Hager did an outstanding job of filling in.
“You always hope players are ready to play when the guy in front of them goes down. In fact, Bryce got a game ball for doing that and deservedly so,” Phillips said. “He played really well. Especially, the communication part, because he was a signal caller, too. That’s a hard job in itself, so Bryce did a good job. We’ve got Bryce if we need him, obviously we hope Alec plays.”
But offensively, Woods being listed as questionable is significant. McVay had said earlier in the week that the wide receiver would more likely be back for the Week 15 matchup against the Seahawks. But after going through practice on Friday, Woods said he was excited to get back in the swing of things.
“It’s felt good for a couple of days now — just finally getting a chance to work it,” Woods said after Friday’s practice. “I feel good, I feel strong, and I feel confident in it. Trust it.”
Because all three of Ogletree, Woods, and Barwin are listed as questionable, it’s uncertain if they’ll play. But if they are able to return, that would be a significant boost to the Rams’ 46-man gameday roster for Sunday’s matchup against the Eagles.
Kristen Lago contributed reporting.