The Los Angeles Rams trimmed their roster by 19 players Saturday to comply by the 1 p.m. deadline to reach the 53-player regular-season limit including cutting three players who played for them in Super Bowl LII.
Receiver KhaDarel Hodge, running back John Kelly and defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers were among four players cut who played regular-season games for the Rams in 2018 along with running back Justin Davis.
The other players with NFL regular season experience cut were Kevin Peterson, who played six games with the Rams in 2017 and spent all of 2018 on injured reserve, and defensive back Donte Deayon, who played four games for the New York Giants in both 2017 and 2018.
The Rams also cut two players who were on the practice squad in 2018, defensive back Steven Parker and guard Jeremiah Kolone. The Rams cut one player they selected in the 2019 draft — linebacker Dakota Allen, a seventh-round choice, — and three undrafted rookies — tackle Chandler Brewer, defensive tackle Marquise Copeland and defensive end Landis Durham.
Quarterback John Wolford was also cut, two days after throwing two touchdown passes in a 22-10 victory over the Houston Texans to conclude preseason play.
All 13 players cut Saturday are eligible to be signed to the Rams 10-member practice squad. Teams may begin signing players to practice squad contracts shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday after it is determined they cleared waivers.
The Rams waived four players with an injury designation, including two who played for them in 2018 — defensive back Dominique Hatfield and linebacker Trevon Young. The others were linebacker Josh Carraway, who played one regular-season game for the Tennessee Titans in 2017, and undrafted rookie receiver Alex Bachman.
If, as expected, those players clear waivers, they will be placed on reserve/injured.
Linebacker Micah Kiser was placed on reserve/injured and will miss the entire season. The projected starter underwent surgery for a pectoral injury suffered in the Aug. 17 preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Center-guard Aaron Neary was suspended. The NFL announced on June 28 he violated the league’s policy and program on substances of abuse and would be suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 regular season.
Neary’s only NFL regular-season appearance came in the final game of 2017 when he started as the Rams rested most of their regulars. He spent the majority of the 2018 season on the Rams practice squad.
NFL teams often make adjustments to the roster between the regular-season cutdown deadline and the season opener, including re-signing players who had been cut and cutting others to accommodate adding players cut by other teams.
“These things are never truly final,” Rams coach Sean McVay said. “These are tough decisions that we have to make today, but there’s a lot of instances that end up changing the narrative and this doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be a point in time when John Franklin-Myers’ status changes with us.”
McVay said “a lot of these decisions” about players being cut “are more a result of other guys kind of earning it, not necessarily one guy not doing what he can to show that he’s an NFL-caliber player.”
“A lot of it ends up coming down to numbers, how we ultimately figure out our offense, defense and special teams,” McVay said. “Not exclusive to the 53, but we keep going back to that 46 as well and those decisions come into play there.”
While the regular-season roster limit is 53, a maximum of 46 players are eligible to play in regular-season and postseason games.
The Rams cut 18 players on Friday, including Brandon Allen, their starting quarterback for the final two preseason games.
Allen signed with the Rams in 2017 after being cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars but never played a regular-season game for them. He spent the first 15 weeks of the 2017 season on the active roster before being placed on injured/reserve. He was on the active roster for the first two weeks of the 2018 season before being cut, then was signed to the practice squad.
All but three of the other players cut Friday were undrafted rookies — guard Abdul Beecham, tight ends Kendall Blanton, Romello Brooker and Keenen Brown, running back Matt Colburn, safety Jake Gervase, receivers Jalen Greene and Johnathan Lloyd, tackles Brandon Hitner and Matt Kaskey, center Vitas Hrynkiewicz, defensive tackles Bryant Jones and Boogie Roberts and linebacker Ketner Kupp.
Kupp is the younger brother of Rams receiver Cooper Kupp.
The other three players cut Friday were punter Brock Miller, receiver Austin Proehl and defensive back Ramon Richards. None have spent time on active NFL regular-season rosters.
Miller participated in the San Francisco 49ers training camp in 2017. Proehl, a son of former Rams receiver Ricky Proehl, was on the Rams and Tennessee Titans practice squads in 2018. Richards was on the Rams practice squad in 2018.
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