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Rams Defense Could Lose Starter Before Steelers Game



Steelers CB Derion Kendrick Rams
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Derion Kendrick (1) lines up for the play during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)

Days after his arrest, Rams starting cornerback Derion Kendrick has yet to practice with the team. He participated in the team’s Thursday walkthrough but did not practice. Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris stated that Rams head coach Sean McVay will ultimately decide if Kendrick suits up for Sunday’s game against the Steelers. On Thursday, Kendrick met with McVay for the first time since his arrest.

“Glad to have him back,” Morris said. “Now, (whether he’ll) play, that’ll be up to Coach. Obviously, we leave those things up to that. We’ll prepare with him and without him, just to do our due diligence and how you want to go about your business. Just where we’re at with that right now.”

Kendrick was arrested on felony gun possession charges. He was arrested at 2:14 a.m. local time on Monday morning after the Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. According to TMZ, police pulled over Kendrick for a minor traffic violation and found marijuana and a gun. He has been charged with a felony for carrying a concealed weapon.

It’s unclear at this point what steps Kendrick must take to be freed from incarceration or what type of discipline he might face from the Rams or the NFL.

A sixth-round pick out of Georgia in the 2022 NFL Draft, Kendrick stepped into a starting role for the Rams in Week 3 of his rookie season and has started all six games for the team this season. So far this season, he has 25 tackles, two for a loss, and three passes defended.

Kendrick also dealt with disciplinary issues in college. He was a starter at Clemson as a sophomore but was dismissed from the team in February 2021. He later transferred to Georiga.

Former Steelers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has been starting opposite Kendrick. Sixth-round rookie Tre Tomlinson is the only backup outside cornerback on the roster, with Cobie Durant and Duke Shelley playing inside.