The first round of roster cuts are in with the LA Rams trimming their roster from 89 players to 80. Teams have until August 16 to cut down to 80 but would have to split into two groups if they entered camp with over 80 players. By making the cuts now, the Rams began camp with one group.
The first cut wasn’t really a cut. Offensive lineman, Chandler Brewer opted out of the 2020 NFL season because he is at risk. Brewer appeared in seven games last year as a rotational lineman. That decision left the Rams at 88 players on the roster. They proceed cutting the next eight players in two waves of four players each.
The Rams released wide receiver and punt return specialist Greg Dortch, safety Jake Gervase, tight end Ethan Wolf and center Nate Trewyn. Dortch and Gervase were both surprises as the Rams don’t have an undisputed return man (Dortch), while Gervase got some run last year. Releasing Dortch could signal a role for Nsimba Webster and both Dortch and Gervase should have ample time latching on to other teams.
The second batch of cuts consisted of 2020 UDFAs: inside linebacker Daniel Bituli, running back James Gilbert, defensive end Greg Reaves and defensive tackle Sam Renner. I expected Bituli to compete for a spot with fellow UDFA inside linebackers Chase Rozenboom and Bryan London II, but just like Gervase and Dortch, he should get a look from another team.
The cuts also coincide with practice squads increasing from 10 to 12 and then 12 to 16, accounting for major roster turnover due to COVID-19. Because of this, the Rams will keep six more players on their practice squad compared to 2019. This is good news for all players on the bubble who won’t get the exposure and practice with the elimination of preseason games and scrimmages.
All teams will need to finalize their 53-man rosters by September 5 and then can assemble their practice squads after players clear waivers on September 6.
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