Rams punter Johnny Hekker showed his versatility last week when he stepped in for injured kicker Greg Zuerlein and kicked a field goal against the Arizona Cardinals.
Hekker’s role, or perhaps receiver Cooper Kupp’s, expanded Tuesday when the Rams waived third-string quarterback Brandon Allen from the roster, and cut quarterback Luis Perez and tight end Temarrick Hemingway from the practice squad.
Hekker had been the emergency quarterback on game days because only two quarterbacks, starter Jared Goff and backup Sean Mannion, are typically active. Kupp also is regarded as a potential emergency backup.
Tuesday’s roster moves were presumably made because Monday the Rams signed kicker Sam Ficken to fill in for Zuerlein, and because offensive lineman Jamon Brown could return to the active roster Sunday against the Chargers after serving a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Allen could be re-signed to the practice squad if he clears waivers. He played in college at Arkanasas and was a sixth-round draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2016. The Rams claimed him off waivers on the eve of last season. He completed 33 of 51 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown, with one interception during the 2018 preseason.
Hemingway was selected by the Rams in the sixth round of the 2016 draft. He played in eight games as a rookie, and then sat out last season after suffering a broken leg in a preseason game. During offseason workouts, he appeared to be making a strong push for a role alongside Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.
But Hemingway struggled to catch passes during training camp and the preseason. Johnny Mundt made the roster as the third tight end, and Hemingway was cut and then signed to the practice squad.
Perez, who played at Texas A&M Commerce, signed with the Rams after an offseason tryout of undrafted players. He played in the final preseason game against the New Orleans Saints, and completed eight of 15 passes for 43 yards, with an interception.