Morning Ram-blings: Rams lose Rivers

ST. LOUIS -- After another upset win and receiving plenty of help on the NFL draft front, the St. Louis Rams almost had a perfect weekend. Almost.

News came Monday that the Jacksonville Jaguars claimed defensive end Gerald Rivers off waivers from St. Louis. It's a move that won't move the needle much if at all in NFL circles but it's one that left the Rams disappointed.

It's also a prime example of how attrition in the NFL can have a trickle-down effect, which can lead to moves being made that nobody really wants to make. The Rams released Rivers to create room for returner Justin Veltung because Tavon Austin was going to miss Sunday's game against New Orleans with an ankle injury.

One ankle injury led to the Rams losing a promising pass rusher.

"Yeah, we thought there may be a chance, but we needed to make a spot," coach Jeff Fisher said. "We felt like that was the best place to go. We have significant depth here. He was not going to be active for us. Anytime you put somebody out there, especially this time of the year -- teams that are trying to upgrade the bottom half of their roster, evaluating players, sign for futures -- you’re going to risk losing somebody when you have to waive them."

Rivers spent the year on the Rams roster but was only active on game day twice, playing 10 snaps on defense. He made the team as an undrafted free agent over the summer after impressing Fisher and the coaching staff with his pass-rush potential.

But the Rams are well stocked at defensive end with Chris Long, Robert Quinn, William Hayes and Eugene Sims under contract through next season. That means barring an injury Rivers wasn't going to be active much anyway. Make no mistake, the Rams didn't lose Jack Youngblood in his prime here but it's still a disappointing and somewhat confusing loss for them.

From my point of view, it would have made more sense to subtract from the team's surplus of offensive linemen rather than risk losing Rivers, but the Rams' reasons for letting Rivers go makes sense and probably won't become something that truly hurts them in the long run even if it's disappointing in the interim.


A roundup of Tuesday's Rams stories on ESPN.com. ... The Ram-blings began with reaction from Fisher on reports that he's been more "hands on" with the defense than usual. ... From there, we delved into our weekly Redskins watch with a look at where the Rams' extra first-round pick currently stands and where it might go. ... The Rams didn't move in this week's Power Rankings despite an impressive win against New Orleans. ... We capped off the day with our usual Tuesday film study sessions, one on defense and one on offense.


At stltoday.com, columnist Bryan Burwell writes that any talk of a major shakeup at Rams Park is silly.

Jim Thomas takes note of the performance of cornerback Janoris Jenkins despite a painful back ailment.

More from Joe Lyons on Fisher's reaction to the rumors of the weekend.

The Associated Press has details on the strong finish to the season of rookie runner Zac Stacy.

At 101sports.com, Randy Karraker provides 10 observations from the Rams' win against the Saints.

In that same space, Anthony Stalter also added his thoughts on the game.

Turf Show Times ponders the Rams' chances of finishing 8-8.