The Rams are coming out of the bye week with a pair of veterans acquired in the offseason riding the pine.
Wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker and linebacker Ben Leber are both healthy scratches for Sunday’s matchup with the Packers. Neither player appeared on the injury report this week, but both were on the list of inactives released a short time ago.
With the Rams so shorthanded at receiver in the wake of Danny Amendola’s injury, the Sims-Walker move is a bit surprising but understandable. He dropped three passes against the Redskins in the Rams’ 17-10 Week Four loss and hasn’t given the team much of anything after signing as a free agent this offseason. Rookies Austin Pettis and Greg Salas are both active along with probable starters Danario Alexander and Brandon Gibson. With Mark Clayton due to return from the PUP list soon, Sims-Walker may be out of a job entirely.
Leber started for the Rams in their last three games, but he’ll be replaced by Chris Chamberlain. Leber hasn’t done much to distinguish himself and the team clearly feels Leber’s familiarity with the Packers from his years with the Vikings isn’t a big enough asset to justify keeping him in the lineup. Rookie linebacker Jabara Williams is active and will make his NFL debut for St. Louis.
It’s hard to argue with the moves from the Rams’ perspective. The guys they were playing weren’t getting them wins, so why not take a look at some younger players in hopes of igniting a spark. It probably won’t be enough to get a win in Green Bay, but it wasn’t like Sims-Walker and Leber were likely to get them one either.