Rams Adding Defender With 4.44 Speed Before Week 3 Battle: Report

Decobie Durant

Getty Decobie Durant was officially ruled out for the Week 3 game versus Arizona on September 23, 2022.

The Los Angeles Rams were heading into their first road trip of the 2020 season with a decimated defensive back group — with slot cornerback Troy Hill, safety Jordan Fuller plus cornerbacks David Long Jr. and rookie Decobie Durant on the list of the key injuries.

Now, the Rams have solidified their roster on the back end on the eve of their Week 3 showdown in Glendale, Arizona with the NFC West rival Cardinals. And they’re ensuring there’s a speed option they can turn to if needed.

Who Got Promoted

Announced by the franchise before 10:30 a.m. Pacific on Saturday, September 24, the Rams have signed Grant Haley to the active roster.

Haley comes on board in the likelihood he’ll be an option to help fill for Hill — who went on injured reserve on Tuesday with a groin ailment. If Haley gets thrown out there versus the Cardinals, his speed can come in good use.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder from Penn State was timed at 4.44 in his 40-yard dash — giving him an advantage in matching up with some of the faster options on the Cards’ side. The 26-year-old Haley entered the league as a natural fit for the slot CB role.

“Slot corner who plays with good anticipation from zone and who has adequate athletic ability and foot quickness to compete in man coverage,” was what nfl.com draft expert Lance Zierlein wrote in his evaluation of the former Penn State Nittany Lion. Zierlein also wrote how Haley has feet that are “quick and can adjust to receiver’s release,” plus has an ability to “transition out of pedal with good twitch.”

It’s not determined if Haley will be a part of the rotation moving forward. But with head coach Sean McVay confirming with reporters on Friday that Long Jr. (groin) and Hill out for the Cardinals game, Haley helps provide some needed depth against what’s usually a pass-happy Cardinals attack with Kliff Kingsbury as head coach and Kyler Murray at the controls of the offense behind center.

Other Roster Moves Include Van Jefferson Update

Two games into the season, and veteran wide receiver Van Jefferson is still yet to be cleared to play.

Jefferson was named to the reserve/injured listing by the Rams on Saturday. That now means Jefferson will miss his third consecutive game this season. Jefferson has been bothered by a knee injury that dates back to August during training camp practices held at UC Irvine.

In his place, the Rams have mostly relied on Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson — with the former leading the NFL with 24 catches in two games. Robinson saw an increase in targets and receptions in the 31-27 home win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2.

Meanwhile, the Rams have also announced that 2021 fourth rounder Jacob Harris is another roster activation for the upcoming Sunday contest. The towering Harris had been on the practice squad but now with Jefferson still out, the Rams may mix in the 6-foot-5, 211-pounder from Central Florida.

Finally, rookie linebacker Keir Thomas went from being waived to being assigned to the practice squad. Thomas was best known for his strong outing versus the Cincinnati Bengals in the final preseason game of 2022.

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