NFL Wire News

Joyner grows in second season on Rams’ defense

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The Sports Xchange

EARTH CITY, Mo. — One of the reasons for the St. Louis Rams’ improved secondary play has been the emergence of second-year defensive back Lamarcus Joyner. Not only did Joyner struggle in his rookie season, he also missed six games because of a groin injury.

He has a total of 14 solo tackles in the last two games, and against the Browns, he had six solo tackles, two passes defensed and one quarterback hit. Against Cleveland, he played 47 snaps (63 percent).

Said Fisher of Joyner, “Playing a lot of snaps for us. Making a lot of tackles – a lot of knock-em back tackles. He’s getting good pressure on the quarterback, breaking up passes, getting us off the field on third down. He’s a lot further ahead than where he was last year. Last year he went through the groin issue for a month or so. Of course, the things he’s doing on special teams are outstanding.”

Asked about the commitment Joyner made in the offseason, Fisher added, “We saw it from the time the offseason program started. He’s very dedicated. I’ll tell you this, he’s in early and stays late. It’s important to him. This job’s important to him.”

–Linebacker Alec Ogletree, who underwent ankle surgery after being injured in Week 4 against Arizona, was placed on reserve/injured, designated for return Tuesday (Oct. 27). Ogletree can return to practice in six weeks and be eligible to play again in eight weeks. The earliest he could play would be Dec. 27 in Week 16 against Seattle.

Head coach Jeff Fisher said, “It’s good for Alec, too because it gives him hope and encouragement to come back.”

Asked if Ogletree is showing progress in rehab, Fisher said, “We would not have done it had he not been getting better.”

–With linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar being released, the Rams signed defensive tackle Doug Worthington from the practice squad.

Fisher said of Worthington, “Doug’s a big man. He can play the run. He’s stout. He’s smart. Yeah, we’re a little banged up there. I don’t know how things are going to unfold towards the end of the week. It’s almost November. November, people start running the football. You look at our schedule down the road here starting with this week’s opponent, they’re going to run the ball. Doug’s a run-stopper. He’s a load inside and he’s smart. So, keeping him active is going to be another challenge on the 46, but we’ll see how it goes.”

–Cornerback Janoris Jenkins, entering the final year of his contract has ramped up his game and playing much more disciplined. Head coach Jeff Fisher said, “I thought he (has been) really productive since his arrival here, but yeah, he’s knocking down a lot of passes. He’s getting himself in position to make a lot of plays. He’s tackling well. Those two deep-ball interceptions that he had earlier in the year were as good as you’ve ever seen. So, he’s playing well. I mean, this game’s important to him. He studies. He understands. He communicates. He’s a top corner in this league.”

Notes: Tight end Lance Kendricks, who did not play in Sunday’s game against the Browns after undergoing surgery on his thumb, fully participated in practice Wednesday … Defensive end Robert Quinn, who played only 28 snaps (37 percent) against the Browns because of a knee injury, did not practice Wednesday.


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