Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
After missing the last eight games of the season, the Los Angeles Rams has officially activated cornerback Aqib Talib to the active roster. Talib's activation appears to be right on time as the Rams look to clinch an NFC West Division Title against the Detroit Lions.
Talib sustained an injury to his ankle after being rolled up on by San Diego Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams while being tackled by Rams linebacker Ramik Wilson.
Talib's initial diagnosis was thought to be a strain, as the Rams medical staff were optimistic that it was not anything further serious. Talib sought for a second opinion with his injured ankle, and that second opinion required he undergo surgery to repair his ankle.
Talib returned to the Rams after their bye week, and begin to practice. Getting Talib back now provides the Rams for once their full starting defense from week one. The Rams pass defense has been torched since week four and is in desperate need for their pro-bowl corner.
The coaches thus far have been impressed with Talib's work already (see video below).
Individual Drill Of Aqib Talib
The five-time pro-bowl Talib is anxious to get back on the field after assisting as a player-coach with the Rams secondary. Talib expressed how hard it was to stand on the sideline and to watch his team struggle at times and couldn't do anything about the play. He was not pleased that he missed the Rams last home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Playing four seasons with the Denver Broncos, he produced problems for the Chiefs while covering their best wide-outs.
In a one-on-one interview with Rams reporter Sarina Morales, she would ask Talib what some of the things he learned throughout the weeks while out on the injury? Talib responded:
When the Rams play the Lions on Sunday, they will be without a few key starters. Wide-receivers Marvin Jones placed on the IR and Brandon Powell already have been ruled out. The Lions have only three healthy receivers on the roster with Bruce Ellington listed a questionable with a bad back.
The Lions traded away their number one receiver Golden Tate at the trade deadline, probably was a good deal for the Rams as Tate torched the defense with eight receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns. However, they will have to keep an eye on second year Kenny Golladay, a 6'4" receiver that quarterback Matthew Stafford has targeted a great deal since the trade. Talib will draw the assignment on Golladay more times than any on crucial downs and red-zone areas.
Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson has been ruled out, which leave LeGarrette Blount as the starter and Theo Riddick and Zach Zenner as back-ups. The last time the Rams met the Lions at Ford Field, it was Zenner who seemed to have had a career day against the Rams.
Expect for the Rams defense to become more aggressive on that side of the ball with Talib back in the line-up. Wade Phillips will probably be more comfortable with applying more blitz packages now that he has his veteran back on the other side of the ball. Expect Marcus Peters to return to his aggressive free-lance style of play of attacking the ball for turnovers.
In a corresponding move, the Rams waived wide-receiver Nick Williams who was signed when Cooper Kupp was first injured against the Denver Broncos.