The final injury report before Sunday’s Rams-Lions tilt:
-The Rams are going to be thin at defensive tackle in week one. Tackles Michael Brockers, Matt Conrath and Darell Scott have all been ruled out for Sunday’s game. That leaves the Rams with Kendall Langford, Jermelle Cudjo and newly acquired Kellen Heard as the only healthy defensive tackles going into Sunday. Given the lack of depth, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see defensive end Eugene Sims taking some snaps at tackle in passing situations.
The Brockers injury is the most damaging. The 14th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Rams had designs on inserting Brockers right away to help shore up a run defense that allowed the second-most rushing yards per game in 2011. Brockers was injured in the final preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens on a block that garnered Ravens tackle Ramon Harewood an $8,000 fine.
“I don’t think it was intentional,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said of the play. “The player’s trying to make the team, trying to make a block, but unfortunately, there’s rules by which we have to abide.”
Scott struggled to stay on the field this preseason, but Conrath made the team due to a strong showing in training camp and preseason games. At 6’8″, it was expected Conrath would have a role on passing downs.
Cudjo forced his way onto the team with a good preseason. He also appeared in 10 games for the Rams last season. Heard appeared in 15 games with the Bills last season, starting two games and registering two sacks. At 6’6″, 339 lbs., Heard could be a force in the run game in Brockers’ absence.
-For the Lions, both safety Louis Delmas and cornerback Chris Houston are listed as doubtful after being unable to practice all week. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, John Wendling is expected to start in place of Delmas with Jacob Lacey and Drayton Florence filling in for Houston.
Wendling is in his third year with the Lions and sixth year overall. He’s been mainly a special teams player during his career. Lacey spent the first three years of his career with Indianapolis before joining the Lions this offseason. He has five career interceptions.
Florence is an interesting addition for the Lions. The veteran corner has 96 career starts but was cut loose by the Denver Broncos during last Friday’s cuts to 53. He’s been practicing with the Lions all this week, but it remains to be seen what the 31-year old corner has left.