The Rams will start trimming the youngest roster in the league by Monday, following Saturday night’s game in Dallas. The harder round of cuts comes Friday, Aug. 31, after the preseason finale.
Undrafted rookies like QB Austin Davis and DT Matt Conrath have gone from longshots to favorites to make the team. But they can’t relax yet.
Here’s our current look at who’ll make the 53-man roster.
Stock rising: QB Austin Davis. The Southern Miss product who broke many of Brett Favre's records continues to be camp’s biggest surprise. He went 5 of 7 for 70 yards against Kansas City, leading the Rams on their final touchdown drive. When a Chiefs blitzer came free, Davis adjusted and hit tight end Mike McNeill for a 14-yard gain.
“Austin’s making good decisions,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “(He’s) keeping drives alive and the one play he knew he was hot, he got rid of the ball to the tight end and it was just like, ‘bang, bang.’ He’s playing, at times, like an experienced veteran.” Davis is pushing Kellen Clemens for the No. 2 job.
Stock falling: S Darian Stewart. Stewart opened camp as the apparent starter at free safety, but missing two weeks with a hamstring injury set him back. Now he’s practicing again and trying to usurp Craig Dahl, who had three solo tackles, one assist and a fumble recovery against the Chiefs. "He’s going to need to get some reps," Fisher told reporters. "We’re going to get him some reps. Hopefully, he’ll get through the week without incident and we’ll get him plenty of reps in the next couple of weeks and we’ll see where it goes."
QB -- In: (3) Sam Bradford, Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis. Out: Tom Brandstater. Analysis: With Davis breathing down his neck, Clemens was efficient against the Chiefs. He completed 8 of 10 throws for 50 yards and scrambled 22 yards for a first down. The battle for the No. 2 job will come down to the final two preseason games.
RB -- In: (4) Steven Jackson, Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson, Ovie Mughelli (FB). Out: Calvin Middleton, Todd Anderson, Chase Reynolds, Nicholas Schweiger, Brit Miller (FB), Ben Guidugli (FB). Analysis: Pead hasn’t clicked yet, but the talent is there. Richardson has been more consistent and could get snaps with the second team in Dallas. Mughelli and Miller are dead even, with Mughelli getting the edge based on his pedigree. The Rams might keep both.
WR -- In: (6) Danny Amendola, Steve Smith, Brian Quick, Chris Givens, Greg Salas, Brandon Gibson. Out: Danario Alexander, Nick Johnson. Analysis: With Austin Pettis suspended for the first two games, this battle will carry over to the regular season. Pettis’ return likely will leave Salas and Gibson vying for one spot. Alexander (hamstring) just can’t get on the field.
TE -- In: (4) Lance Kendricks, Michael Hoomanawanui, Matthew Mulligan, Mike McNeill. Out: Jamie Childers, Cory Harkey, Deangelo Peterson. Analysis: Mulligan is a blocking specialist who showed it against the Chiefs, clearing a massive hole for Jackson. McNeill, a hometown product, is making a late charge that could convince the team to keep four tight ends. He made two tough catches against the Chiefs, something Fisher noted immediately afterward.
OL -- In (9) Rodger Saffold, Quinn Ojinnaka, Scott Wells, Harvey Dahl, Barry Richardson, Jason Smith, Rokevious Watkins, Bryan Mattison, Robert Turner. Out: Kevin Hughes, Jose Valdez, T-Bob Hebert, Tim Barnes, Joe Long, Ryan Mckee. Analysis: Richardson has solidified his hold on the right tackle spot over the disappointing Smith. Watkins is pushing Ojinnaka at left guard. Turner is a solid backup for Wells, the Pro Bowler who's finally practicing this week after rehab from spring knee surgery.
DL -- In (8): Chris Long, Kendall Langford, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn, William Hayes, Eugene Sims, Jermell Cudjo, Matthew Conrath. Out: Cornell Banks, Trevor Laws, Jamaar Jarrett, Scott Smith. Analysis: Cudjo and Conrath, an undrafted free agent out of Virginia, have had great preseasons. Conrath intercepted a pass off a deflection in Saturday’s win over the Chiefs. Laws, who played four years with the Eagles, started strong in camp before a knee injury sidelined him. He could still make this roster.
LB -- In (7): James Laurinaitis, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Mario Haggan, Rocky McIntosh, Josh Hull, Justin Cole, Aaron Brown. Out: Sammy Brown, Alex Hoffman-Ellis, Noah Keller. Analysis: The McIntosh-Haggan battle for the second OLB spot has heated up, with McIntosh pulling even. The former Redskin has six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in two games. Hull, Cole and Aaron Brown figure to be special-teams contributors.
DB -- In (9): Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Bradley Fletcher, Jerome Murphy, Quintin Mikell, Darian Stewart, Craig Dahl, Rodney McLeod. Out: Jeremy Caldwell, Kendric Burney, Matthew Daniels, Quinton Pointer. Analysis: With the trade of Josh Gordy, Fletcher, Murphy and the rookie Johnson are vying for the No. 3 corner spot. Sending Gordy to Indy suggests the Rams are comfortable with that depth. Stewart needs to stay healthy to have a shot at starting the opener over Dahl. But neither is an ideal free safety.
Special teams -- In (3): Greg Zuerlein, Johnny Hekker, Jake McQuaide. Out: Garrett Lindholm, Travis Tripucka. Analysis: The Rams released Tom Malone, indicating they’re pleased with Hekker’s punting. Zuerlein continues to boom field goals; his 52-yarder against the Chiefs might have been good from 62. McQuaide is the long snapper. Pead likely will return kickoffs, and Amendola is the punt returner.
Get more Rams updates and analysis from Larry Hartstein @CBSSportsNFLSTL.