December 13, 2018 / 1:30 AM / 5 months ago

Rams confident O-line can bounce back

Dec 9, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay leaves the field after losing against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals: After being vague on Monday about defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche’s knee injury, coach Steve Wilks confirmed Wednesday that the former first-round pick has a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday, but Nkemdiche’s availability for the start of next season could be in doubt, poor timing as the third-year pro had begun playing better. “He was progressing,” Wilks said. “He had a great game against the Chargers and he was hurt before that. Just on and off the field and then all of a sudden when something like this happens, it just sets him back.” The Cardinals must decide this offseason whether to pick up Nkemdiche’s fifth-year option for 2020, which would be guaranteed only for injury.

Los Angeles Rams: The Rams’ offensive line is coming off of its worst performance of the season, allowing three sacks and five tackles for loss against the Bears, but coach Sean McVay isn’t concerned about the group. “I would say it’s been a combination of some different things,” he said Wednesday. “I wouldn’t say that it’s been a fall off or anything like that.” After facing a tough Chicago front, the test remains difficult this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. “Fletcher Cox is tough because he’s a guy that you can know what he is going to do to you and no matter what you do, he’s going to do it anyway,” left guard Rodger Saffold said of Philly’s 3-technique defensive tackle. Cox had three QB hits in L.A. last year and has 27 this year, second in the NFL behind Aaron Donald (33).

San Francisco 49ers: Coming off an upset win over the Denver Broncos, the 49ers are looking to redeem themselves in a rematch with the Seahawks just two weeks after a 43-16 blowout at Seattle. “Playing a team twice in two weeks is a little different, but it can be fun, too,” San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Especially the way it went for us, it was a bad feeling for us, and I’d love to get another chance at them. To be able to do that 10 days later is something you’re excited about, and you know scheme-wise, nothing’s really changing.” The 49ers actually outgained the Seahawks, 452 yards to 331, in that first battle, but Seattle won the turnover battle 3-0.

Seattle Seahawks: With previously suspended Mychal Kendricks headed to injured reserve and K.J. Wright still a few weeks from playing, the Seahawks will turn back to linebacker Austin Calitro to play next to Bobby Wagner. “He really has done it, and he’s done it well for us,” coach Pete Carroll said of Calitro. “He played really good against (the 49ers) last time out. He’s been able to be really consistent with his run fits. Really don’t have any problem with him playing at all. ... We feel like we have a guy we’ve developed as a starter stepping (up), and we feel fortunate in that.” Calitro has made four starts this season, posting a career-high 10 tackles and two tackles for loss in Week 13 vs. San Francisco.

—Field Level Media

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