Rams claim former Broncos linebacker and plan to sign ex-Buccaneers running back

Denver Broncos linebacker Justin Hollins takes up his position.
Denver Broncos linebacker Justin Hollins takes up his position during the first half against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 22, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis.
(Mike Roemer / Associated Press)

The Rams completed their roster Sunday — and then put in motion moves that are expected to change it as preparations begin for the Sept. 13 opener against the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium.

The Rams began Sunday claiming linebacker Justin Hollins off waivers from the Denver Broncos. That gave the Rams the NFL-mandated maximum of 53 players. But they also are planning to sign running back Ray Calais from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice squad, a person with knowledge of the situation said. That will necessitate a corresponding roster move because players signed from a practice squad count against the roster for a minimum of three weeks.

The Buccaneers drafted Calais in the seventh round after he rushed for 1,845 yards and 15 touchdowns in four seasons at Louisiana. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

The Rams have four running backs on the roster: Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson and undrafted rookie Xavier Jones. Henderson’s status for the opener is uncertain because of a hamstring injury that sidelined him the last few weeks of training camp.

The Rams on Saturday announced nine more roster cuts as they moved closer to the league-mandated 53 players. The team’s average age is 25.1.

Hollins, 6-foot-5 and 248 pounds, played under Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley last season as a rookie with the Broncos. Staley was the Broncos’ outside linebackers coach.


The Rams had an open spot on their roster after putting defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson on the non-football injury list Saturday because of an unspecified condition that prevented him from participating in most of training camp.

Hollins was a fifth-round draft pick by the Broncos in 2019. He played in 15 games and had one sack. Hollins could play outside or inside linebacker for the Rams.

Leonard Floyd and Samson Ebukam are the starting outside linebackers. The Rams were counting on third-round pick Terrell Lewis to contribute, but his status is uncertain because of a knee issue that sidelined him near the end of training camp.

With Travin Howard on injured reserve because of a season-ending knee injury, the Rams have only three inside linebackers on the roster — Micah Kiser, Kenny Young and Troy Reeder.

Practice squads were increased this season from 10 to 16 players. The Rams signed 15 players who had been in training camp, including quarterback Bryce Perkins.

Other practice squad signees: Receiver J.J. Koski, tight end Kendall Blanton, offensive linemen Cohl Cabral, and Jamil Demby, defensive lineman Marquise Copeland, Michael Hoecht and Jonah Williams, linebackers Natrez Patrick, Daniel Bituli, Derrick Moncrief and Christian Rozeboom and defensive backs Dante Deayon, Juju Hughes and Tyrique McGhee.