LOS ANGELES — Two plays, two ends of the field, two very different outcomes and emotions.
Rams cornerback Kayvon Webster recorded an interception on the third play of the game Sunday against Philadelphia, his first interception since 2013. It led to a Rams touchdown, but by the end of the quarter, Webster was in the locker room, his season finished.
Webster tore his Achilles tendon on a pass-defense, a non-contact play so dire that it made cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman kneel and Coach Sean McVay come onto the field to console Webster.
The question now for Webster, a starter who had played well, is not whether he can return this season but whether he will be ready for the start of training camp next year.
“Kayvon is my guy,” Robey-Coleman said. “Me and Kayvon go back all the way to high school. It means a lot to me that he’s hurt right now. I pray nothing but the best for him, his recovery and his family.”
Robey-Coleman is the last healthy Rams starting cornerback. The other starter, Trumaine Johnson, entered the NFL concussion protocol after he delivered a hit in the fourth quarter, and Johnson’s status for next week’s big game at Seattle wasn’t immediately known.
So the Rams could be in a bit of trouble against Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who threw three interceptions Sunday against Jacksonville but also threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns.
Robey-Coleman typically is effective as the Rams’ nickel back, but now likely will play on the outside against Seattle’s Doug Baldwin or Tyler Lockett. Depending on Johnson’s health, the Rams could turn to Troy Hill, a part-time starter in 2016, or Blake Countess, who at one point was a part-time starter at safety.
It will be tough to match the consistency of Webster, who arguably has been the Rams’ top corner this year.
“He’s a great competitor,” McVay said. “We love Kayvon and what he has meant to this football team. Guys are going to need to step up in his absence.”
The Rams also have some concerns on the offensive line. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth hurt his ankle in the second quarter but returned at the start of the second half, but right tackle Rob Havenstein suffered an ankle injury in the middle of the fourth quarter and did not return.
Darrell Williams fared well during his brief stint in place of Whitworth, but on Williams’ second play at right tackle, Chris Long raced around the left side and forced a strip-sack fumble on quarterback Jared Goff.
The extent of Havenstein’s injury is not known, but the Rams aren’t exactly deep at tackle. Williams could fill in, or the Rams could look to move guard Rodger Saffold to tackle, where he has experience.
“It’s nothing new to me,” Saffold said. “I’ve been a part of it to where I’ve had to change multiple positions, guard and tackle, so it’s next man up. I have a lot of faith in him. I don’t blame Darrell one bit. He did a fantastic job, going to left tackle and then having to be brought in at right tackle.”
Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree, whose availability was in doubt because of a hyperextended elbow, played most of the game and was second on the team with nine tackles against the Eagles.
Ogletree tested the elbow with a brief on-field workout 2 1/2 hours before the game, and played with a heavy brace on his left arm.
“I felt fine,” Ogletree said. “I came out well. It didn’t get any worse, so I’m definitely excited about that, and thanks to the training staff and everybody to help me get back.”
OVER A THOUSAND
Rams running back Todd Gurley gained 96 yards on 13 carries, and scored two touchdowns, and now is at 1,035 rushing yards for the season. Gurley also caught three passes for 39 yards and accounted for 135 of the Rams’ 308 yards.
The Rams are 7-0 when Gurley touches the ball at least 20 times, and 2-4 when he doesn’t, but the lack of his usage was explained, in part, by the fact that the Rams ran only 45 offensive plays. Gurley managed to find success against an Eagles defense that has been strong against the run this season.
“(Offensive line) coach (Aaron) Kromer, he does a great job every week of coming in there and putting in good schemes,” Gurley said. “He was able to do that. We know they like to rush the passer a lot, and we were able to use that as an advantage. The big boys up front, they did good. Everybody did good. We just have to finish a little more.”
Cooper Kupp caught five passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, and set a new Rams rookie record for receptions in a season. Kupp now has 56 catches, two more than Eddie Kennison totaled in 1996.
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