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Rams won’t have tackle Andrew Whitworth, safety Taylor Rapp vs. Bucs

Whitworth started 15 games in the regular season while Rapp had four interceptions and 94 tackles through 17games.
Rams safety Taylor Rapp, here making an interception against San Francisco on Jan. 9, won't play against the Bucs on Sunday.
Rams safety Taylor Rapp, here making an interception against San Francisco on Jan. 9, won't play against the Bucs on Sunday. [ MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ | Associated Press ]
Published Jan. 21

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Rams will not have left tackle Andrew Whitworth or safety Taylor Rapp available when they play the Bucs on Sunday in Tampa.

Whitworth hurt his ankle on the Rams’ first offensive play in a 34-11 win over the Cardinals on Monday. Rapp will miss his second straight game after sustaining a concussion in the season finale against the 49ers.

“Both those guys will be out. They’ll be out for the game,” coach Sean McVay said Friday.

Whitworth started 15 games in the regular season for the Rams, becoming the first 40-year-old to play left tackle in NFL history. He played a total of 30 snaps against Arizona before being replaced by Joe Noteboom in the second half.

Noteboom, in his fourth season out of TCU, made two starts this season. He played left tackle at Houston in Week 8 when Whitworth was sidelined because of a knee injury, and Noteboom played right tackle at Arizona in Week 14.

Rapp, who had four interceptions and made 94 tackles as he started all 17 regular-season games, would likely be able to play if the Rams advance to the NFC championship game, McVay said.

With Rapp and Jordan Fuller, who sustained a season-ending ankle injury against San Francisco, unable to play against Arizona, the Rams started Nick Scott and Terrell Burgess at safety. Eric Weddle also played significant snaps after coming out of retirement last week.

“I think that the depth of our secondary was really challenged, but the guys showed why they’ve done a good job. They were ready when their number was called, and this week will be no different with Taylor being out again,” McVay said.

If the Rams are able to extend their season, they could get more reinforcements in addition to Rapp. Running back Darrell Henderson Jr., defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day and rookie CB Robert Rochell were designated to return from injured reserve Friday. However, McVay does not expect any of them to play this week.

Henderson sprained his MCL against Minnesota in Week 16. He led the Rams with five rushing touchdowns and was second on the team with 688 yards rushing.

Joseph-Day, a key reserve pass rusher who had three sacks, underwent surgery in November to repair a partially torn pectoral muscle.

Rochell had been out since sustaining a chest injury against Jacksonville in Week 13.

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