Rams LB Ogletree has surgery, could return this season
ST. LOUIS (AP) Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree underwent surgery to repair his fractured right fibula on Tuesday, but coach Jeff Fisher said the team will wait to decide whether to make a roster move with him.
The team will not place Ogletree on season-ending injured reserve, but may still place him on injured reserve/designated for return, which would allow him to return after eight weeks. Fisher said he expects Ogletree to miss more time than that, but left open the possibility that the linebacker could come back this season.
”There’s a chance for a return,” Fisher said. ”So we’re going to see how things go.”
Ogletree, who suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Rams’ 24-22 win over the Cardinals on Sunday, led the team in tackles in each of his first two seasons. He was leading the team with 55 tackles this season.
Ogletree had a career-high 18 tackles in the Week 2 loss to the Redskins, then had 15 tackles and two sacks the following week in a loss to the Steelers. He had a team-high 11 tackles against Arizona.
The Rams will move Akeem Ayers, who signed a two-year deal as a free agent this offseason after winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots, from strong-side linebacker to weak-side linebacker.
Ayers has nine tackles and one pass defended in four games, but has played limited snaps because he comes out when the Rams use sub packages. He played 30 percent of the Rams’ defensive snaps against the Cardinals after playing just 16 percent the previous week.
”’Tree was playing that position at a really high level, being very productive at that position – tackles, sacks, he’s just all over the field,” Ayers said. ”By him playing that position so high, when I come in there . I want to keep that same level of intensity going because he was playing at such a high level. I’m excited to play. We have different games. He does what he does well, and I do what I do well.”
The Rams added another linebacker Tuesday, signing veteran Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who had started for them at strong-side linebacker the past three seasons but was released at the end of the preseason.
Dunbar takes the open roster spot that had belonged to Chris Givens, the wide receiver St. Louis traded to Baltimore on Saturday.
”He knows the defense,” Fisher said. ”That’s why we brought him back. He stayed in shape, came back and it looks like he’s never left. He has a good feel for what we’re doing.”
The Rams (2-2) rank 13th in the NFL in points allowed (22.2 per game), 14th in pass yards allowed (235.2), 16th in total yardage allowed (355.5) and 26th in rushing yards allowed (120.2) and will travel to face a Packers team on Sunday that ranks in the top 10 in points, rushing yards and total yardage.
NOTES: Chase Reynolds (knee) and Eugene Sims (knee) both returned to the practice field on Tuesday after missing time with injuries. Both players have missed the past three games after playing in the season opener against the Seahawks. . Running back Trey Watts was back on the practice field after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The Rams have a one-week roster exception for Watts and don’t have to add him to the active roster.