Rams Practice Without 2 Rookies Who Will Now Need Surgery: Report

Bobby Brown III

Getty Bobby Brown III celebrates a defensive stop in a 2019 game for the Texas A&M Aggies against Georgia.

The injury bug has stung the Los Angeles Rams rookie class early.

First, wide receiver Jacob Harris has been limited due to an injury to his core. Now, defensive tackle Bobby Brown III and cornerback Robert Rochell were the latest to go down with injuries, and both will need thumb and wrist surgery, respectively as first reported by Rams beat reporter Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic on Saturday evening.

Plus the Brown III update was provided during the Rams’ Saturday session.

Extent of Injuries

Brown, the 6-foot-4, 325-pound defender who is expected to solidify the nose tackle spot in the Rams’ 3-4 alignment, suffered a Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) injury, head coach Sean McVay told Rodrigue following practice.

There is good news for both Brown III and the Rams: The rookie from Texas A&M won’t likely miss a lot of action. McVay said he believes Brown III will return to the field quickly.

According to a January 19, 2020 article from Cedars- Sinai, UCL surgeries can cut ones healing time in half from the potential 10 to 12 weeks that most thumb surgeries require.

ESPN Rams reporter Lindsey Thiry tweeted that McVay believes Brown will return after a week of surgery, though.

Brown, the 117th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, snatched 22 tackles including 7.5 for a loss and collected 5.5 sacks in his final season with the Aggies. He went on to test the draft waters by leaving College Station, Texas following his junior year. Lance Zierlein of nfl.com called Brown a prime fit at the nose or in a three-technique alignment in a defense.

While Brown is projected to come back sooner, Rochell’s return from surgery doesn’t have a set timetable.

The versatile cornerback and safety, who was drafted to potentially replace Troy Hill at the “star” cornerback position (also called the nickel CB in the Rams defense), hurt his wrist during what Rodrigue helped describe as a practice injury from Friday.

Per this tweet from Rodrigue, the rookie from Central Arkansas Rochell was likely trying to force a fumble against a wide receiver, but somehow jammed his wrist while going for the forced strip of the football.

Rochell will undergo a procedure in the coming days. Again, his return status is pending but likely won’t force him to miss significant action. McVay briefly spoke about the injuries after the Rams’ “Back Together Saturday” session.

“With Rochell, it was kind of a freak little accident, he was going in to punch the ball, he’s going to have wrist surgery on Monday,” McVay said to the L.A. media. “Same thing (with) Bobby Brown, he got his UCL in his thumb, he’ll have a quick little fix.”

Where do the Rams Go Now?

Obviously, injuries at training camp is a common theme for every team.

Except, three members of the Rams’ rookie class have already gotten nicked up early. Plus, second rounder Tutu Atwell is on the reserve/COVID-19 list and has been away from the practice field during the opening week of camp.

Despite the injuries, the Rams still have plenty of interior depth in Brown’s absence with Sebastian Joseph-Day plugged inside plus Michael Hoecht getting inside action. Meanwhile in the secondary, veteran David Long, who had a pass breakup during a one-on-one period against Cooper Kupp as noted by Rams team reporter Stu Jackson on Saturday, is another slot CB option for the Rams with Rochell out for the time being.

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