The Los Angeles Rams are ruling out left tackle Andrew Whitworth and safety Taylor Rapp for Sunday's divisional-round game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coach Sean McVay said Friday.
Whitworth hurt his right knee on the opening play of the Rams' 34-11 wild-card win over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night. He played 30 of the team's 60 offensive snaps before Joe Noteboom replaced him for the remainder of the game. McVay said earlier in the week that Whitworth was dealing with swelling in his knee and ankle and that his status for Sunday was in question.
The 40-year-old Whitworth ranked third during the regular season in ESPN's pass block win rate among offensive tackles.
Rapp missed the Arizona game with a concussion he suffered in the regular-season finale. McVay said he's yet to clear the final stage of the NFL's concussion protocol.
"I know the one thing for Taylor is he's doing everything in his power to get back and be out there with his guys," McVay said. "He's a great, tough competitor. But these are things that we know how serious they can be. I do feel like hopefully after next week we'll get some positive news if we are able to continue our season, and maybe he returns next week."
Rapp's concussion and the season-ending ankle injury that fellow starting safety Jordan Fuller suffered in Week 18 prompted the Rams to bring 37-year-old Eric Weddle out of his two-year retirement last week. The six-time Pro Bowler played 19 of 56 defensive snaps while Nick Scott and Terrell Burgess took over the starting spots. It was Weddle's first game in 750 days.
He would have played more had the game been closer, per McVay.
"He felt good," McVay said. "What a great communicator, great energy. He just brought such a positive aura, energy to our building. I know how much respect he already has from the guys. I thought it was great having Eric around. What I also thought was great was to see the way that Terrell Burgess and Nick Scott played. Both those guys did an excellent job. So I think the depth of our secondary was really challenged, but the guys showed why they've done a good job and they were ready when their number was called. And this week will be no different with Taylor being out again."
Linebacker Troy Reeder showed up on the Rams' injury report this week but will play Sunday, per McVay.
He said none of the four players the team designated to return to practice from injured reserve this week will play Sunday, though it's "a likely possibility" that one of them, linebacker Ernest Jones, would be available next week if the Rams advance to the NFC Championship Game.
McVay said the team is taking it day to day with the other three -- cornerback Robert Rochell, running back Darrell Henderson Jr. and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day -- and that it made sense to start their 21-day windows to be activated to the 53-man roster regardless of whether they're able to return before the end of the Rams' season.