Aqib Talib is one of the most talented players on the Rams defense, but Sean McVay and company can still win plenty of games without the talented corner.
Sean McVay has a reputation for being one of the brightest offensive minds in the NFL, but he’s put together a pretty good Los Angeles Rams defense as well. That’s why the team can still win games even without the services of cornerback Aqib Talib.
Talib is currently dealing with a very painful high ankle sprain. The original diagnosis claimed he would need surgery to fix the issue, but he and the Rams are going to seek a second opinion. No matter what, Talib is going to miss at least one month of action for his team.
When he’s healthy, he partners with Marcus Peters to form the most talented pair of cornerbacks in the NFL. In the early weeks of this season, opposing teams have crafted their offensive game plans to avoid challenging that duo. Wide receivers have been relegated to decoy duty while teams try to throw the football down the field to tight ends and running backs. Challenging Talib and Peters just isn’t worth the risk.
Obviously, things will change when Talib is out of the lineup. Nickell Robey-Coleman is a quality nickel corner, but he’ll face a big adjustment competing on the outside. Offenses aren’t going to be able to feast on the new starter, but they certainly won’t refrain from throwing to his side of the field.
Fortunately, cornerback isn’t the only position of strength for the Rams defense. The team’s defensive line will continue to be destructive no matter who is defending receivers on the outside. Talib’s injury might put a little more pressure on the likes of Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers and Ndamukong Suh, but it’s nothing the front seven can’t handle.
The last note to make here is that the Rams would be an excellent team even if their defense was only average. Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and the Los Angeles offense are putting up video game-type numbers on the young season. The scary thing is that they can play even better. Look for McVay to demand more from his offense while Talib is on the sideline.
The bottom line is that the Rams have stars all over their roster. Losing Talib due to injury is going to hurt them, but it’s nothing close to a fatal blow. Look for McVay and company to keep right on trucking without their talented cornerback.