Now that the Los Angeles Rams have sunk into last place in the NFC West, one of the hot topics is whether their cut stars Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford should be shut down for the remainder of the 2022 season.
On the one hand, you have fans declaring that since the season is dead, there’s no need to put these star players at risk of playing behind an offensive line that was already struggling before being destroyed by injuries. On the other hand, you have those who think that if you have permission to play, you should. Players are paid a lot of money for their work and if they are healthy they should be on the field to earn it.
From this point in the season until it concludes, most if not all players are beaten to varying degrees. It is a losing year and there are seven games left to play. So who can sit? Where on the list do you draw the line? Should it just be the top handful of stars or any of the starting units, who decides? If stars can sit of their own free will, without an injury designation, should fans/consumers get a discount on tickets, parking, and food if they choose to travel to a game? The angles and arguments could go on and on.
There is a way out, at least for Kupp, Stafford and the Rams organization. Best of all, it probably wouldn’t be questioned. Coop is already on the Injured Reserve (IR) List and cannot be designated to return for a minimum of four weeks, placing Personnel on the IR would result in the same. LA could then “conveniently” run out of return designations and placate both sides of the close/don’t close argument.
Currently, by my best count, the Rams have only one “designated to return” roster move available to them. NFL rules for 2022 allow eight players to return from IR and other reserve lists, and the Rams have already made six of those moves with one more player set to return at any time.
The NFL and NFLPA recently agreed to a few rules for the 2022 season. Among them: Eight players per team can return from injured reserve and other reserve lists as detailed below. Four games must have elapsed before a player can return. pic.twitter.com/EiUoTE8YgI
—Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) May 25, 2022
- Linebacker Travin Howard – out 7/24 and returned 11/5
- Quintin Lake Security: Depart 7/24 and return 11/12
- Running back Kyren Williams – out 9/13 and back 11/12
- Cornerback Troy Hill left on September 20 and returned on October 29.
- Wide receiver Van Jefferson left on September 24 and returned on October 29.
- Center/guard Coleman Shelton-out 10/8 and returned 11/12
- Guard David Edwards: Out 10/11 and designated to return 11/16 (Rams have 21 days to activate)
Ready or soon to be ready for roster reactivation: NFL rules require a minimum of four weeks/games out
Edge Daniel Hardy: out with high ankle sprain on September 1
Safety Jordan Fuller: Out two to four weeks with a strained hamstring on 8/10
Cornerback Grant Haley will be out for four to six weeks with a sprained ACL on 10/18
Linebacker Jake Hummel: Out four to six weeks with a groin strain on 5/11
Guard Chandler Brewer- out four to six weeks with MCL surgery on 11/16
Probably not. If any star player wants to sit down, he will. Some mysterious ailment will suddenly be diagnosed, or the infamous personal problem will rear its head. Fortunately for fans, most star players, even those on underperforming teams, are so ultra-competitive that they want to be on the field until the end.
Journeymen and bottom roster don’t deserve the same treatment, playing damage dependent and every last weapon is a must. For them, getting any video job, clean or not, is an opportunity to impress their coaches, or the opposition, and move up the NFL food chain. Maybe then, fans can argue about them and whether or not they should sit out the final games of a season gone wrong.