The Los Angeles Rams made 34 cuts on Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here’s a closer look at the final moves:
Most significant move: It wasn't a cut; it was the fact that Aaron Donald remained on the reserve/did not report list. The star interior lineman is still holding out, with the Rams hopeful that he will at least join them for the start of practice on Monday and give himself a real chance to be available for Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts. With Donald still not there, the only solidified starting down lineman in 3-4 base sets appears to be Michael Brockers. The Rams kept five other defensive linemen: Morgan Fox, Louis Trinca-Pasat, cannonTyrunn Walker, Tanzel Smart and Ethan Westbrooks. They all have a chance to see significant playing time. Mike Purcell was a somewhat surprising cut here.
Trading for familiarity: The Rams sent a 2018 seventh-round pick to the Washington Redskins in exchange for tight end Derek Carrier, who spent the past two years under former Redskins offensive coordinator and current Rams coach Sean McVay. Carrier joins the Rams as the No. 3 tight end, replacing Temarrick Hemingway, who fractured his fibula in the third preseason game. Carrier, who played 465 offensive snaps the past two years, is a 27-year-old with 28 career catches. He was used mainly as a move tight end, bringing reliable hands and good route-running ability. McVay called him a "good athlete" who will also contribute on special teams. ESPN's John Keim sees him as a better blocker in space than he is in-line.
Second-string offensive line: The Rams surprisingly let go of 2015 sixth-round pick Cody Wichmann and will go with three backups on their offensive line. Andrew Donnal, who can contribute as both a tackle and a guard, will be their swing guy. A knee injury sidelined Donnal for most of the summer, but he returned to practice on Saturday. Darrell Williams is the backup tackle and Austin Blythe is the backup center.
Youth at quarterback: The Rams -- for now, at least -- will go into the season with two quarterbacks. It's 22-year-old starter Jared Goff and 25-year-old backup Sean Mannion, who have combined to throw 218 NFL passes and represent one of the youngest -- if not the youngest -- duos in the NFL. Veteran Dan Orlovsky was cut, but McVay said it's possible that Orlovsky could rejoin the team after Week 1. Orlovsky's contract became fully guaranteed if he was on the roster for the start of the season.
No fullbacks: Veteran Cory Harkey and 2017 sixth-round pick Sam Rogers were among those cut, which means McVay will not have any real use for fullbacks in his offense. Harkey spent the past five years as a blocking tight end and fullback under Jeff Fisher and was also one of the core locker-room leaders. Rogers was a do-everything fullback at Virginia Tech who may still find his way onto the practice squad. McVay said cutting Harkey was "certainly a difficult discussion because of the type of player, the type of person he is."
Spruce is loose: Local product Nelson Spruce joined the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and became a fan favorite with a big performance in that year's preseason opener. But Spruce suffered a knee injury in that game, never played for the Rams last season and didn't make the team this year. He was cut, with an injury designation, as the Rams chose to stay with their six solidified receivers -- Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper and Josh Reynolds. Shakeir Ryan was also cut, which means that Austin, bothered by a hamstring injury all summer, will be ready to return punts in Week 1. Austin impressed McVay with the way he was moving around on Saturday.
Not drafted, not a problem: Running back Justin Davis (USC), tight end Johnny Mundt (Oregon) and defensive back Dominique Hatfield (Utah) made the team as undrafted free agents. Davis, who impressed with his elusiveness during the preseason, is the third running back, behind Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown. (The Rams opted against keeping Aaron Green as a fourth running back.) Mundt is the fourth tight end, after Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett and Carrier, though he may find himself on the practice squad if the Rams need to open up a roster spot. Hatfield may be in line to get some playing time after the surprising cut of cornerback Mike Jordan. He's an option on the outside, along with Kevin Peterson and primary backup Nickell Robey-Coleman.
Released (28): DT Omarius Bryant, WR KD Cannon, OL Parker Collins, K Travis Coons, CB Carlos Davis, OL Michael Dunn, OL Jake Eldrenkamp, DB Tyquwan Glass, RB Aaron Green, DB Isaiah Johnson, DB Mike Jordan, OL Alex Kozan, OLB Willie Mays III, LB Cassanova McKinzy, WR Paul McRoberts, OLB Andy Mulumba, OL Pace Murphy, LB Folarin Orimolade, DB Aarion Penton, NT Mike Purcell, FB Sam Rogers, WR Shakeir Ryan, DT Casey Sayles, WR Brandon Shippen, OLB Carlos Thompson, OLB Davis Tull, G Cody Wichmann, TE Travis Wilson.
Terminated vested veteran (2): TE Cory Harkey, QB Dan Orlovsky.
Injured reserve (1): TE Temarrick Hemingway.
Physically Unable to Perform (1): RB Lance Dunbar.
Reserve/Suspended (2): CB Troy Hill, WR Mike Thomas.