Rams rookie offensive lineman Logan Bruss is out for the season after tearing ligaments in his right knee in Los Angeles’ second preseason game.
On Saturday, the Rams also waived tight end Kendall Blanton, a Super Bowl starter who made several big playoff receptions in their run to a championship.
Coach Sean McVay said Bruss tore his ACL and MCL apart in Los Angeles’ 24-20 loss to Houston on Friday night.
“It’s really a shame for a youngster who has worked very hard and put a lot into this game,” McVay said. “We obviously drafted him with confidence that he could be a guy who could potentially contribute for us this year.”
Wisconsin’s third-round selection was the Rams’ highest draft pick last spring, but Bruss was likely to play a backup role this season. He started training camp competing for the starting spot at right guard vacated by Austin Corbett’s free agent departure to Carolina, but veteran Coleman Shelton had essentially landed the job even before the Bruss injury.
“I’m really happy with Coleman Shelton’s rise, showing what kind of player he really is, where he can really play any of those three inside spots,” McVay said. “He played very well at the right guard position.”
McVay also said rookie linebacker Daniel Hardy has a sprained ankle that will force him to start the season on injured reserve. Hardy was a seventh-round selection from Montana State.
The Rams cut their roster on Saturday, three days before the NFL deadline to reach the 80-player limit. Along with Blanton, the Rams waived running backs Raymond Calais and AJ Rose, defensive back Jairon McVea and receiver JJ Koski.
Blanton’s departure came as a slight surprise even though he had just four career receptions for the Rams, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2019 Tampa Bay before making five catches for 57 yards in the NFC title game against San Francisco.
Blanton then started the Super Bowl with first stringer Tyler Higbee sidelined by injury, but he failed to grab the Rams’ 23-20 victory.
Blanton’s early departure could give him more time to find a new team in time to prepare for Game 3 of the preseason, McVay said. The Rams already have Higbee and Brycen Hopkins at tight end, while Jacob Harris can still play the position even though he’s become a receiver.
McVay dismissed the idea that Blanton was cut because the Rams intend to keep eight receivers based on the versatility of multiple players and the emergence of undrafted rookie receiver Lance McCutcheon, who has 10 catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns in two preseason games.
“I love Kendall and really appreciate our time together, but that was based on the assessment of what we saw,” McVay said. “It was a football decision as far as tight ends were concerned. It had nothing to do with wide receivers or any other place.
Calais was waived a day after running four times for 14 yards behind the Rams’ second offensive line against the Texans. Calais returned kickoffs as a rookie in 2020 but missed last season through injury and never earned a regular-season carry for the Rams despite impressive athleticism and speed.
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