Rams miss Jalen Ramsey’s big-play defense in loss to Miami – Press Enterprise
Jalen Ramsey might have altered a footnote in NFL history if he’d been there to prevent Tua Tagovailoa’s first touchdown pass.
But Ramsey, the Rams’ All-Pro defensive back, missed Sunday’s game against the Dolphins in Miami after waking up ill, the team said.
David Long replaced him, and it was Long who couldn’t stop DeVante Parker from catching a 3-yard pass from Tagovailoa that started the Dolphins’ 28-0 scoring run in the Rams’ 28-17 loss.
“Jalen brings that energy. He brings that big hit, that big deflection, that confidence, just that raw energy that you can’t duplicate,” Rams safety John Johnson said.
“I think David did a great job, did what he had to do. He gave up that touchdown, but he was right there.”
Johnson said players knew Ramsey wasn’t feeling well but didn’t know until game time that he wouldn’t play.
The team was prohibited from saying if Ramsey was tested for COVID-19 Sunday.
But coach Sean McVay said Ramsey would fly home with the team, which indicated the virus wasn’t a concern.
“He’s in good enough shape to be able to return with us,” McVay said.
Rarely has a scoreboard been so misleading about a defensive performance.
The Dolphins’ four touchdowns came on short drives following turnovers by Rams quarterback Jared Goff, a runback of a fumble by Goff, and a punt runback.
The Rams held Miami to 145 yards in total offense and Tagovailoa to 90 yards passing.
They did it without the star of their secondary.
Running back Darrell Henderson was having a good game before going out with an injury apparently suffered on a hard hit by Miami linebacker Elandon Roberts for a 2-yard loss early in the second quarter.
Henderson had 47 yards on eight carries and one catch for 11 yards, and the score was 7-7 when he was hurt.
McVay said it was a hip injury but offered no details on the severity.
The injury allowed rookie Cam Akers to get his most action in three weeks, carrying nine times for 35 yards.
Malcolm Brown had 40 yards on 10 carries.
Tagovalioa sounded disappointed by his own performance in his NFL starting debut: 12 for 22, 93 yards, one touchdown.
“I don’t think I played to the standard of what this offense is capable of,” he said. “There were certain plays where I could have stepped up and made the right throw, made the right decision.
“But I’ve heard it many times from the guys in the locker room; it’s good that we still came out with the win.”
More medical news
Defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson was taken off the non-football injury list Saturday but was among the five players declared inactive for Sunday’s game, meaning his Rams debut almost certainly will come in the Seattle game following the team’s week off.
Coaches talked during the week about making sure Robinson, who returned to practice Oct. 22 after being sidelined with a respiratory condition, is ready to play his best at game speed before being activated.
Tight end Tyler Higbee returned to catch two passes for 14 yards after missing the Bears game with a bruised left hand.
Where they stand
The Rams (5-3) fell from a second-place tie to third place in the NFC West after they lost and Seattle (6-1) defeated San Francisco (4-4), while Arizona (5-2) was off Sunday.
Goff threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles. He’d gone 14 games without losing a fumble and 10 games without more than one interception.
Cooper Kupp led Rams receivers with 110 yards on 11 catches, his 10th career 100-yard game.
The Rams scored only 17 points despite being able to run 92 offensive plays, a very high total.