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Recapping promising performances by young Rams players in 2022

For multiple first- and second-year Rams players, the 2022 season brought expanded roles or increased playing time.

Here are some of those promising performances from running back Kyren Williams, wide receiver Tutu Atwell, linebacker Ernest Jones IV, defensive lineman Michael Hoecht, wide receiver Ben Skowronek and defensive back Cobie Durant.

Kyren Williams

Though Williams' rookie season was stalled by a foot injury on the opening kickoff in Week 1, he eventually found a role in the backfield midseason. He saw his highest involvement on offense in Week 12 against the Chiefs, with 11 carries for 35 yards plus three catches for 25 yards.

Williams' rookie season ended with 35 carries for 139 yards, plus nine catches for 76 yards in 10 games.

Tutu Atwell

Atwell was a beneficiary of increased snaps as injuries hit Los Angeles' wide receiver room, getting the chance to show off the his speed.

In Week 5, his first career reception went for 54 yards, then he hauled in a 62-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford against the Saints in Week 11. Over the course of the second half of the season, he also got opportunities to show he was capable of running more than just "go" routes.

Atwell finished with 18 receptions for 298 yards and one touchdown, plus nine carries for 34 yards and one touchdown while starting in four of the 13 games he played in.

Ernest Jones

Playing alongside veteran Bobby Wagner, Jones enjoyed a productive 2022 season that saw him become the third Rams linebacker and seventh player in franchise history to eclipse 100 tackles in his second season with 113. That total was also second-most on Los Angeles' defense behind Wagner's 140.

Michael Hoecht

Hoecht spent most of the season as part of the defensive line rotation before attrition at outside linebacker led to a position change there.

He made his debut at edge in Week 12, and from that point through the end of the season, he generated 23 of his 24 pressures, according to TruMedia. All told, his 24 pressures were third-most on the Rams' defense, behind Leonard Floyd's 54 and Aaron Donald's 40.

Ben Skowronek

The early stages of the 2022 season were memorable for Skowronek, who frequently motioned into fullback out of 11 personnel and had a highlight-reel block on Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt.

Like Atwell, Skowronek saw more snaps in the wide receiver rotation as L.A. dealt with injuries, and he was also contributing in the passing game. His biggest game, and play, was when he mossed his defender to make a 32-yard catch on the game-winning drive against the Raiders.

Skowronek finished with 39 catches for 376 yards, plus a 17-yard rushing touchdown, before a calf injury against the Packers sidelined him for the final three weeks of the season.

Cobie Durant

Although a hamstring injury sidelined Durant for five games, he was productive and effective when healthy and seeing snaps on defense.

He recorded his first career sack and first career interception against the Falcons in Week 2, then played his best game of the season against the Broncos in Week 16 with two interceptions – including his first-career pick-six.

All told, he had 22 total tackles, three interceptions (second-most on team), five pass breakups and one sack while playing in 13 games (one start).

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