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Top Takeaways from Les Snead's press conference on initial 53-man roster for 2022

Rams general manager Les Snead held a video conference with local media Tuesday following the release of the team's initial 53-man roster, covering undrafted rookie wide receiver Lance McCutcheon making it, the approach to the outside linebacker and tight end positions, and more.

Here are some of the top takeaways from that conversation, presented by UNIFY Financial Credit Union.

McCutcheon making it reflection of journey going back to OTAs

During organized team activities this spring, Snead recalled the Rams doing a "moderated" version of walkthroughs, with their contributors who wouldn't be playing in the preseason going against their younger, less experienced group of players in competitive drills.

It was in that setting that McCutcheon started play making plays, putting him on the radar.

"So his march to make our team probably began there, continued into the preseason games, and we felt like (with) all that he had shown, he was definitely worthy of making our 53," Snead said.

Keir Thomas will "have a chance to be active on gameday"

Thomas, an undrafted rookie free agent signee out of Florida State, impressed in the preseason finale and will have an opportunity to be activate on gamedays as rookie seventh-round pick Daniel Hardy recovers from a preseason ankle injury. (Hardy will end up go on Injured Reserve/Designated for Return, according to Snead.)

Thomas was one of three UDFAs to make the team, joining McCutcheon and linebacker Jake Hummel.

Thomas and McCutcheon's performance impacted roster decisions on Jacob Harris and Chris Garrett

Two moves that caught fans and external observers by surprise Tuesday were Harris and Garrett getting waived.

According to Snead, McCutcheon's performance "had a big part in maybe knocking Jacob off the roster, in terms of having a better preseason at wide receiver."

Harris sustained a groin injury in training camp that kept him out until Week 2 against the Texans.

Similarly, Garrett also sustained a groin injury in camp, but his kept him out until the preseason finale against the Bengals, and Thomas' performance also was a factor there.

"Through the course of preseason, Keir Thomas was someone that we felt played overall a more complete football game," Snead said. "Even though Chris is someone definitely with some physics, some juice in his body, to affect the passer, but not quite there yet. And I think missing some of that training camp didn't give him a chance to come totally around."

Primary offensive personnel dictated two tight ends

As noted in the analysis piece on the initial 53-man roster, the Rams rostered just two tight ends on this year's compared to four last year.

Per Snead, that decision was influenced by the Rams being an 11-personnel heavy team – meaning deploying one running back, one tight end and three wide receivers – and using an offensive lineman as a third tight end late last season when they began using jumbo formations for the run game.

Snead said they will try to bring back some tight ends to the practice squad, but given those factors, felt like two made the most sense, especially for the group of 48 players who will be active on gameday.

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