Rams 53-man roster: With preseason over, who will make the cut?

Rams quarterback Brett Rypien passes during a 41-0 preseason loss to the Denver Broncos.
Rams quarterback Brett Rypien passes during a 41-0 preseason loss to the Denver Broncos on Saturday night. Rypien is poised to make the 53-man roster and give the Rams more QB depth behind rookie Stetson Bennett.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
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The Rams ended the preseason Saturday night with a 41-0 loss to the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High.

The 53-man roster must be set by 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Here’s a projection of the roster:

Quarterback (3): Matthew Stafford, Stetson Bennett, Brett Rypien

Stafford, the top pick in the 2009 draft, is beginning his 15th season. He appears completely recovered from the spinal injury that ended his 2022 season, but his durability will be an issue if the offensive line once again proves porous.


Bennett, a fourth-round pick who led Georgia to consecutive national titles, showed during the first two preseason games that he had the makings of a capable backup who would enable the Rams to carry only two quarterbacks. The debate reopened after Bennett’s mistake-plagued performance in less than one half of the finale.

Rypien has experience should Bennett falter.

Running back (4): Cam Akers, Kyren Williams, Ronnie Rivers, Zach Evans

Rams running back Kyren Williams warms up before Saturday's game against the Denver Broncos.
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Akers, exiled by coach Sean McVay for part of last season, rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the last three games. During the offseason, the fourth-year pro added weight to prepare for a full season of work as he approaches restricted free agency.

Injuries slowed Williams during his rookie season. Now he is the clear No. 2 behind Akers and could provide an added dimension as a receiver.

Rivers had a solid preseason, which could give him the edge over Royce Freeman. Evans is a developing rookie.


Wide receiver (6): Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, Puka Nacua, Tyler Johnson

Kupp suffered a season-ending ankle injury last year and was sidelined for much of training camp because of a hamstring injury. Yet the 2021 offensive player of the year is expected to return to form with Stafford.

Jefferson is in the final year of his contract and must prove he can be a durable No. 2 option. Atwell has appeared much more in tune with Stafford, and McVay is expected to expand his role beyond deep routes.

Rams coach Sean McVay didn’t feel the 5.1 earthquake that shook Southern California on Sunday, but some of his players and coaches were left shaken.

Aug. 21, 2023

Nacua got plenty of opportunities during Kupp’s absence from offseason workouts and camp and showed coaches he could be an immediate contributor.

Back and foot injuries have slowed Skowronek, but he is a versatile player on offense and special teams. Johnson and Demarcus Robinson battled to provide veteran experience at a reasonable price.

Tight end (4): Tyler Higbee, Brycen Hopkins, Davis Allen, Hunter Long


Higbee, an eighth-year pro, is expected to be Stafford’s No. 2 target behind Kupp.

During training camp, Hopkins was more consistent than in his first three seasons.

The 6-foot-6 Allen, who played at Clemson, has shown surprisingly sure hands. Long has been slowed by injury.

Offensive line (10): Rob Havenstein, Joe Noteboom, Coleman Shelton, Steve Avila, Alaric Jackson, Brian Allen, Tremayne Anchrum Jr., Warren McClendon Jr., Logan Bruss, Kevin Dotson

Last season, the offensive line was shaky even before injuries decimated the group. If the line does not improve, Stafford again will be at risk.

Right tackle Havenstein and center/guard Shelton are proven, but left tackle Jackson has limited experience. Oft-injured Noteboom signed a big contract to play left tackle but might start at right guard. Rookie Avila, a second-round draft pick, will start at left guard.

Anchrum could start if Noteboom still is nursing an injury. Bruss, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last preseason, has been afflicted by injuries again but played against the Broncos.

Defensive line (5): Aaron Donald, Marquise Copeland, Bobby Brown III, Earnest Brown IV, Kobie Turner, Jonah Williams


Donald, 32, is bound for the Hall of Fame, but for the first time in his career he could begin the season without an experienced wingman.

Copeland and Williams have been rotational players. Bobby Brown and Earnest Brown IV must step up, and Turner, a rookie, must continue to show the promise he displayed during offseason workouts and in camp.

Edge rusher (5): Michael Hoecht, Byron Young, Keir Thomas, Nick Hampton

Rams defensive tackle Michael Hoecht walks on the field during a game against the Seattle Seahawks in January.
(Abbie Parr / Associated Press)

Hoecht moved from defensive line to outside linebacker last season and recorded 4½ sacks. Now he is the most experienced player in a position group that includes rookies in Young and Hampton.

Linebacker (3): Ernest Jones, Christian Rozeboom, Jake Hummel


Jones, bigger and stronger than he was during his first two seasons, will take what he learned from Bobby Wagner last season and assume control of the defense.

Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris will rely on multiple defensive backs, so Rozeboom and Hummel will be role players and special teams mainstays.

Cornerback (6): Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick, Ahkello Witherspoon, Tre Tomlinson, Shaun Jolly, Robert Rochell

Witherspoon, a seventh-year pro who signed a veteran-minimum contract, is the most experienced cornerback on the roster.

As a rookie last season, Durant intercepted three passes. Kendrick started six games. Tomlinson, a rookie, will have a prominent role.

Rams defensive star Aaron Donald finally got to mix it up with some live-action play against the Raiders in a joint practice, but wasn’t totally pleased with his performance.

Aug. 17, 2023

Rochell’s special teams play could help him survive bubble status.

Safety (4): Jordan Fuller, Russ Yeast, Quentin Lake, John Johnson III


Fuller, a fourth-year pro, returns after sitting out nearly all of last season because of a hamstring injury. During preseason practices, he showed the playmaking ability he flashed during his rookie season.

Yeast could start alongside Fuller. Lake, sidelined because of injury for most of his rookie season, made several notable plays during camp and preseason practices.

Johnson, who played for the Rams from 2017 to 2020, signed a veteran-minimum contract near the end of camp.

Specialists (3): K Tanner Brown, P Ethan Evans, LS Alex Ward

Punter Evans and long snapper Ward are set. Brown’s uneven preseason performances seemingly put him on the bubble if a veteran kicker is available at the right price.