The Rams have checked the first box of the preseason, taking down the Chargers in the first exhibition game of the summer. Now they have some decisions to make.
The first cut deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, meaning the Rams must trim their roster from 90 to 85 players soon. Even though these are just the initial cuts, there are still some calls to make.
Here’s who we predict the Rams to release ahead of the first cut deadline of the summer.
TE Jared Pinkney
Pinkney didn’t get a single snap in the preseason opener, a game in which four other tight ends played. It’s not because Pinkney has locked up a roster spot, either. It’s likely that the Rams wanted to see more of the other four players, knowing Pinkney may not have much of a chance to make the team. It’s also a position with six players currently on the roster, so they have plenty of bodies to get through the preseason without risking Tyler Higbee.
WR Warren Jackson
Jackson also did not play in the win over the Chargers, likely because he was activated off the PUP list a week before the game. The Rams won’t be playing their top six receivers in the preseason, leaving six other players to handle the workload in the final two weeks.
Lance McCutcheon, Landen Akers and J.J. Koski got most of the snaps, with Austin Trammell being the only other receiver to play Saturday. McCutcheon is clearly ahead of Jackson and Trammell showed some potential in the win, so Jackson might be the odd man out.
OL Adrian Ealy
Ealy only played four offensive snaps on Saturday, the fewest of any lineman who suited up. He’s likely the fourth-string tackle, so it’s really hard to see him making the team. And the fact that the Rams didn’t need to use him much in the first preseason game means they can get by without him in the next two weeks, too.
They’ll lean on Bobby Evans and A.J. Arcuri at right tackle until the regular season begins.
OLB Brayden Thomas
Thomas played 31 snaps, the same number as Keir Thomas. Those two seem to be neck and neck at outside linebacker, but the Rams may have to pick between them at this stage of the cut process. Keir Thomas is a little bit undersized and is listed as the last outside linebacker on the depth chart, but he flashed more than Brayden in the preseason opener.
Brayden Thomas batted one pass and had two assisted tackles, whereas Keir had a tackle for a loss and two QB hits.
CB Duron Lowe
Cornerback is one of the most crowded positions on the roster, and Lowe is at the bottom of the pecking order. He only played 16 defensive snaps against the Chargers and seems unlikely to make the team. Grant Haley, Tyler Hall and the pair of rookies (Decobie Durant and Derion Kendrick) all appear to be ahead of him right now.
This decision could come down to Lowe and Caesar Dancy-Williams.