How Rams' supporting cast for Aaron Donald looks, sounds different

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Lindsey ThiryESPN

Close Covered Rams for two years for Los Angeles Times Previously covered the Falcons Has covered the NBA and college football and basketball

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — An almost eerie quiet swept over the Los Angeles Rams defensive line while they stretched before a recent voluntary practice session.

The silence was broken when a player hollered, “Dang, I miss Brock, it’s quiet as hell!” defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day recalled.

NFL roster turnover is inevitable, and the 2021 Rams defensive line is not immune. After he was selected 14th overall in 2012 and played nine seasons with the Rams, defensive lineman Michael Brockers was traded to the Detroit Lions in March in an effort to create salary cap space.

Brockers’ departure means not only less noise, but a gaping hole along the front of the NFL’s defending top-ranked defense and marks the end of a seven-year run playing alongside three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, who often praised Brockers’ efforts that helped but did not appear on the stat sheet.

“It’s different for sure and definitely an adjustment,” Joseph-Day said about the group’s dynamic sans Brockers. “But in this business it’s kind of what’s expected.”

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