Charg­ers, Rams make fi­nal ros­ter cuts

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Numbers Game - By BRIAN GOLDEN Valley Press Staff Writer

The Rams and Charg­ers got down to the NFL ros­ter limit of 53 play­ers Satur­day.

As hap­pens every year, there were some raised eye­brows.

Among the Rams’ 19 cuts Satur­day was John Franklin-My­ers, who en­joyed an im­pres­sive rookie year in 2018.

Franklin-My­ers reg­is­tered huge sacks to help win home games vs. the Min­nesota Vik­ings and Kansas City Chiefs.

In the end, Rams gen­eral man­ager Les Snead ex­plained, Se­bastien Joseph-Day, who was in­ac­tive all of last sea­son, had a bet­ter camp to win Ndamukong Suh’s for­mer de­fen­sive tackle po­si­tion along­side Aaron Don­ald.

One of the ma­jor dis­ap­points of camp was Micah Kiser’s torn pec­toral mus­cle, which re­quired surgery.

Na­trez Smart, one of three un­drafted free agents to make the Los An­ge­les ros­ter, steps into the va­cant linebacker po­si­tion.

With Cooper Kupp’s re­turn from knee surgery, the Rams’ re­ceiv­ing corps is re-strength­ened.

Kupp’s Eastern Wash­ing­ton alma mater has an alumni chap­ter in Thou­sand Oaks now. Nsimba Web­ster, an un­der­rated free agent from EWU, made the ros­ter af­ter a spec­tac­u­lar pre­sea­son.

In Car­son, the big­gest sur­prise was the re­lease of backup quar­ter­back Cardale Jones.

Jones had a su­pe­rior sea­son sta­tis­ti­cally to rookie Eas­ton Stick. But Eas­ton sticks at the third quar­ter­back be­hind Philip Rivers and Ty­rod Taylor.

With the foot surgery un­der­gone by Der­win James, pres­sure falls on his backup at strong safety, Rayshawn Jenk­ins.

James had the unique abil­ity to rush the passer as well as cover.

The Charg­ers will be­gin the sea­son with­out hold­out run­ning back Melvin Gor­don.

The Light­ning Bolts went 4-0 in games Gor­don missed a year ago.

His ab­sence cre­ated a spot for rookie Troy­maine Pope be­hind Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson on the depth chart.

The Jack­sonville State prod­uct had an ex­plo­sive pre­sea­son high­lighted by a punt re­turn touch­down vs. New Or­leans.

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