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With A’Shawn Robinson out indefinitely, Rams will lean on Michael Brockers again

The Rams' Michael Brockers is pictured in a Feb. 3, 2019, photo.
The Rams’ decision to bring back defensive lineman Michael Brockers, above, is turning out to be wise decision in the wake of A’Shawn Robinson being put on the non-football injury list.
(Gregory Payan / Associated Press)

With veteran defensive lineman Michael Brockers seemingly on his way to the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent, the Rams signed A’Shawn Robinson in March to fill the void.

When Brockers’ deal with the Ravens fell through, the Rams re-signed Brockers, giving new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley increased depth for the front seven.

It turned out to be a wise move.

A day after the Rams put Robinson on the non-football injury list, McVay said Sunday that Robinson would be out indefinitely because of an unspecified medical condition. He gave no timeline for his return.

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“We’ll look forward to being able to get him back at some point this season,” McVay told reporters during a videoconference. “When that is, I don’t know.”

Robinson, 25, played four seasons for the Detroit Lions before he signed a two-year, $17-million contract with the Rams that included $9.5 million in guarantees. The Rams have completed six days of training camp, which has included team and position-group meetings, walk-throughs and weight-room sessions and physical conditioning.

The Rams’ Jalen Ramsey can excel at many positions, and soon he could sign the richest contract ever for an NFL cornerback.

Robinson’s situation “recently came about,” and the team was being “precautionary” with “some things that we kind of discovered and he was able to really communicate clearly to us,” McVay said.

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“It was something that kind of surprised us,” he said.

McVay said team vice president Tony Pastoors and Robinson’s agent had communicated to “work something out that was, I think, favorable to both parties.”

The Rams had expected Robinson to be an integral part of an interior line group that features star tackle Aaron Donald and also includes Brockers, third-year pro Sebastian Joseph-Day and second-year pro Greg Gaines.

“We can all just bring our own flavors to the game,” Robinson told reporters in April.

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Brockers, 29, is entering his ninth season with the Rams, who selected him with the 14th pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

In the aftermath of last season’s 9-7 season, McVay hired Staley to replace Wade Phillips, and Brockers was one of several key defensive players who found their market in free agency.

Brockers had agreed to a three-year, $30-million contract with the Ravens before questions about an ankle injury he suffered late last season reportedly nixed the deal. The Rams welcomed back Brockers with a front-loaded, three-year contract that included $14 million in guarantees.

A’Shawn Robinson of the Rams is on the active/non-football injury list because of an unspecified injury or condition that occurred pre-training camp.

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In the wake of Robinson’s situation, McVay was asked about the Rams’ decision to re-sign Brockers.

“Thank the Lord,” McVay said, adding, “To be able to still have him is huge, and it’s not just his production on the field.”

While Robinson’s situation depleted the roster, McVay was encouraged by news regarding rookie outside linebacker Terrell Lewis.

Lewis, a third-round draft pick who starred at Alabama, began training camp on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. McVay said Lewis has been allowed into the Rams’ facility and, if he remains asymptomatic for three days, will be allowed to participate in “everything football related.”

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Lewis is expected to compete for playing time opposite edge rusher Leonard Floyd. Fourth-year pro Samson Ebukam, who has started 21 games, is the most experienced player in a group that also includes Obo Okoronkwo and Natrez Patrick.

Lewis is one of nine rookies who have yet to be evaluated in a full-speed setting. Running back Cam Akers, wide receiver Van Jefferson, tight end Brycen Hopkins, offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum, linebacker Clay Johnston, defensive backs Terrell Burgess and Jordan Fuller, and kicker Sam Sloman are others.

The Rams have another week of acclimation phase activity before they begin ramping up for practices, which begin Aug. 18.

With the preseason canceled, they are preparing for the Sept. 13 opener against the visiting Dallas Cowboys on “Sunday Night Football.”

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“We’re certainly excited about when that time will come to be able to practice and do some of these things in a full-speed setting,” McVay said.


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