The Los Angeles Rams announced that they have placed starting safety John Johnson III on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
This is yet another tough injury break for a Rams team that is already without a number of key players, especially on defense. While trading for Jalen Ramsey will certainly help, the Rams will be without Johnson, Aqib Talib and Clay Matthews for at least the next few weeks.
Talib was placed on IR this past week with a rib injury, although he was designated to return. The Rams can only designate two players from IR to return so it will be interesting to see if the same thing is the case for Johnson, or if his season is over.
Johnson has been a key piece for the Rams’ defense since they drafted him in the third round in 2017 out of Boston College. He has played in every single game since being drafted and in six games this year, the 23-year-old has 51 total tackles, two interceptions and two passes defensed.
He was injured during the team’s Week 6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and was not able to return to the game. The Rams feared the worst with the injury and it appears those fears were valid as he is now on IR.
With Johnson no longer anchoring the defense, rookie second-round pick Taylor Rapp will likely take his place as the team’s starter at strong safety. Marqui Christian could also get the nod to start as he replaced Eric Weddle when he missed a game earlier in the season.
Considering so many key players are out with injuries, the healthy Rams players will have to step up in their place if the team wants to snap their three-game losing streak and get back in the postseason picture. Head coach Sean McVay is confident that will be the case.