Injured Rams cornerback Darious Williams out at least one week. Who replaces him?



Rams cornerback Darious Williams is expected to sit out Sunday against the New York Giants and could be headed for the injured reserve list, meaning he would miss at least three games. (Zach Bolinger / Associated Press)

Rams cornerback Darious Williams is expected to sit out Sunday against the New York Giants and could be placed on injured reserve because of an ankle injury, coach Sean McVay said Monday.

Williams was injured Thursday during the Rams’ 26-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. If Williams goes on injured reserve, he could return after three games.

Williams, 28, began his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent. In 2018, the Rams claimed him off waivers, and he has started the last two seasons opposite star Jalen Ramsey.

Williams was a restricted free agent after last season. To ensure they would not lose him, the Rams put a first-round tender on Williams, costing them $4.8 million this season.

“All this guy’s done is deliver when he’s been asked to,” McVay said during a videoconference with reporters, adding, “When you talk about all the different great things that Jalen has done for our defense, it’s been as a reflection of the flexibility that Darious Williams has.

“Now guys will be asked to step up. … I don’t know that it’s that one person that you’re asking. I think we’re really working through what does that really look like.”

Williams’ injury will cause the second reshuffling of the secondary in as many weeks.

Rookie Robert Rochell replaced David Long Jr. as a starter against the Seahawks as the Rams improved to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the NFC West. Seattle targeted Rochell and took advantage of his inexperience on several plays, but Rochell also made several plays.

“Just being in that type of situation gave me more experience moving forward,” Rochell said Monday.

Now Long and possibly Terrell Burgess are among the players who could be called upon to help fill the void left by Williams’s absence.

McVay said the Rams would “explore all measures,” including elevating practice squad players as they prepare for the Giants (1-4) and beyond.

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“It might not be one guy,” McVay said. “It might be kind of a by-committee approach.”

McVay’s greatest challenge this week might be in convincing his players not to look past the Giants, who are coming off a 44-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is in the concussion protocol. Star running back Saquon Barkley is sidelined because of an ankle sprain. And wide receiver Kenny Golladay is probably out because of a knee injury.

Sunday’s game is the start of a four-game stretch for the Rams that includes matchups against the winless Detroit Lions (0-5), the struggling Houston Texans (1-4) and the Tennessee Titans (3-2).

Asked how he convinces his team that the game against the Giants is not one to look past, McVay said “that’s the furthest thing from my mind.”

The Giants have been competitive, the coach said.

“We’re not the team that I think we are if we’re not able to handle that with maturity and let that affect our process and our ability to focus and concentrate,” McVay said. “I think why we’ve been able to have a little bit of success around here is because we do have the right players, we have the right coaches.

“And the sense of urgency is only increased at the season goes on, because the best teams just get better.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.



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