EARTH CITY, Mo. – A look at playing time and performance of each of the St. Louis Rams’ drafted rookies and a quick glimpse at the undrafted rookie class in Sunday’s 42-21 win over the Chicago Bears.
WR Tavon Austin, first round, No. 8 overall: For the second game in a row, Austin made his presence felt early with a scintillating 65-yard touchdown run to give the Rams an early lead. He played 30 snaps on offense and seven on special teams.
It was mostly a quiet day aside from that opening run as Austin also chipped in two catches for 39 yards, a punt return for 1 yard and a kick return for 24 yards.
LB Alec Ogletree, first round, No. 30 overall: Per usual, Ogletree played all 79 snaps on defense and was quite active in the process. According to unofficial pressbox statistics, Ogletree had 11 tackles and a pass defended. He also played two plays on special teams.
S T.J. McDonald, third round, No. 71 overall: Returning from a fractured leg, McDonald had plenty of rust to knock off but he certainly wasn’t eased back into the mix. He played 73 snaps on defense and six more on special teams. As expected, McDonald had some rough spots after missing eight weeks but he did manage six tackles.
WR Stedman Bailey, third round, No. 92 overall: Bailey continues to work his way into the offense, chipping in on 10 snaps with a catch for 19 yards on a well-run dig route. He also played and played well on special teams, where he put up a tackle and a forced fumble on 16 plays.
OL Barrett Jones, fourth round, No. 113 overall: Jones was a pre-game inactive and did not play for the 11th consecutive game. He remains behind Tim Barnes as the team’s third center and second backup interior lineman right now.
CB Brandon McGee, fifth round, No. 149 overall: After the Rams placed Cortland Finnegan on injured reserve, McGee became the team’s third corner which meant his first extended work on defense of the season. That role was expanded further when starter Trumaine Johnson left with a head injury.
McGee played 56 snaps on defense against the Bears, more than 11 times the total defensive snaps he’d played on the season. He also chipped in 11 plays on special teams. It was tough sledding for McGee, who picked up some penalties and struggled against the Bears bigger receivers but to his credit he hung in there and posted five tackles.
RB Zac Stacy, fifth round, No. 160 overall: Stacy was running at will against the Bears before leaving with a head injury before the end of the first half. Despite playing just 24 snaps, Stacy got carries on half of those plays and posted 87 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He also had a catch and run for 10 yards.
Undrafted rookie roundup: Running back Benny Cunningham was one of the game’s stars, posting 109 yards and a touchdown on the ground after replacing Stacy. He played 26 snaps on offense and five more on special teams to help the Rams seal the win in the second half. … Linebackers Daren Bates and Ray Ray Armstrong continue to be mainstays on special teams, playing 16 snaps in that phase with Armstrong notching a pair of tackles. … Safety Cody Davis played 14 special teams snaps and registered a tackle.