LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Rams have placed promising rookie safety Jordan Fuller on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
Los Angeles also signed rookie defensive back JuJu Hughes from the practice squad to the active roster Tuesday.
Fuller unexpectedly won a starting job out of training camp with the Rams (4-1), who picked him in the sixth round out of Ohio State. The free safety has excelled when healthy as a rookie, making 21 tackles while starting four of Los Angeles' five games alongside strong safety John Johnson.
But Fuller missed the Rams' win over the New York Giants on Oct. 4 because of a shoulder injury, and he reaggravated his shoulder while making an open-field tackle on the final defensive snap of Los Angeles' 30-10 win at Washington last Sunday.
Rams coach Sean McVay described the injury Monday as “a little stinger. It’s more of his neck, just having a stinger, but it is on the right side. It’s the same side (as his previous shoulder injury).”
Fuller will miss at least the Rams' next three games on injured reserve. Los Angeles visits San Francisco (2-3) on Sunday night before hosting the Chicago Bears and travelling to Miami. The Rams' bye is the following week, which means Fuller will be out of game action for at least a month.
Fuller made four tackles and got credit for two pass breakups at Washington. He also had 17 combined tackles in his first two NFL games.
Taylor Rapp is likely to take Fuller's spot in the starting lineup, as he did against the Giants. Rapp, who started 10 games last season as a rookie, lost his job to Fuller in camp, but worked his way back into the defensive rotation while making 24 tackles.
Rookie defensive back Terrell Burgess also is likely to get more playing time in Fuller's absence. Burgess and Fuller fit better as free safeties in co-ordinator Brandon Staley's defence , while Johnson and Rapp are more suited to strong safety.
Staley's defence has allowed the sixth-fewest yards in the NFL this season after holding Washington to 108 yards. The Rams also have allowed an NFC-low 90 points.
Hughes, an undrafted free agent from Fresno State, returns to the active roster after making his NFL debut against the Giants with one tackle. He received notoriety during the just-completed season of HBO's “Hard Knocks” for his predilection for keeping a toothpick in his mouth at all times.
The Rams also re-signed rookie defensive tackle Eric Banks to the practice squad. Banks, an undrafted free agent who made the active roster out of training camp, was released when the Rams added pass rusher Terrell Lewis to their active roster last weekend.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Greg Beacham, The Associated Press