The Rams have activated rookie safety T.J. McDonald from the injured reserved/designated for return list. To make room for McDonald on the 53-man roster, the team has placed veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan on the season-ending injured reserve list because of an eye injury.
Originally it was thought that McDonald would not be eligible to return this week. He suffered a broken leg in Game 4 against San Francisco on Sept. 26. Under the new IR/designated for return rule, that meant McDonald couldn’t practice for at least six weeks and couldn’t play in a game until at least eight weeks after the injury.
Well, the San Francisco game was played on Thursday night, and that meant McDonald’s eight weeks were up on Friday. The Rams sent in the paperwork to the NFL on Saturday informing the league that McDonald was being added to the roster.
McDonald moved around well in practice this week and got the lion’s share of the reps with the starting defense. So it looks like he will play Sunday against visiting Chicago, and could possibly start. McDonald, a third-round draft pick from Southern California, started the first four games of the season and had 23 tackles and two pass breakups before the injury.
As for Finnnegan, he finishes 2013 with 35 tackles and one interception. He struggled in the early going, then missed three games with a hamstring injury. His play improved after he returned Oct. 28 against Seattle, but he was limited to nickel back duties in two of the three games since his return.
Finnegan, who turns 30 in February, is due to make $9 million next year in base salary and a roster bonus. It remains to be seen if he will be brought back or asked to restructure his contract.
Rookie corner Brandon McGee and possibly safety Rodney McLeod could fill in for Finnegan in the nickel.
The Rams also placed QB Brady Quinn (back) on injured reserve and promoted Quinton Pointer from the practice squad to the active roster.
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