THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd has gone to a hospital after feeling abdominal pain shortly before practice.
Floyd left the Rams’ training complex for the hospital Friday as a precaution, a team spokesman said.
Floyd ranks eighth in the NFL with 9 1/2 sacks in his strong debut season with the Rams (9-6), who host the Cardinals on Sunday. Los Angeles needs a win over Arizona or a loss by the Chicago Bears to make the playoffs.
“He has done such a great job for us,” Rams coach Sean McVay said of Floyd. “He has been so steady, so consistent, so versatile. … I think he’s playing as well as he’s ever played in his career, and that’s a big statement, because I think he’s been a really underrated player in this league if you’re watching the tape and you see what he does snap-in and snap-out, instead of just looking at his stat sheet.”
Floyd spent his first four NFL seasons with the Bears, but has put together the most prolific season of his career since signing a one-year, $10 million deal with Los Angeles as a free agent.
Along with his success as an edge rusher, Floyd has 53 tackles, 18 quarterback hits and 11 1/2 tackles for loss along with two fumble recoveries and strong play in run defense and pass coverage.
Although he never became the pass-rushing dynamo expected after his first-round selection in Chicago, Floyd has evolved into an all-around playmaker in Los Angeles under rookie defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, his former position coach with the Bears.
“He’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him play,” Staley said. “I think he’s become the best version of himself. This guy is a Pro Bowl-caliber player in every way. I’ve coached Khalil Mack. I’ve coached Von Miller. I’ve coached Bradley Chubb. (Floyd) is having as complete a season as any edge player in the NFL.”
Floyd would be among the top pass rushers available on the free agent market next spring, and McVay said Friday that the Rams hope to re-sign Floyd. Los Angeles acquired him last year as a replacement for Dante Fowler, who parlayed his 1 1/2 seasons of success as a pass rusher alongside Aaron Donald into a lucrative free-agent deal with Atlanta.
“He’s not talked about like the other pass rushers, (but) he should be,” Donald said of Floyd. “He’s got to continue to do it. He’s having a great year, but he’s got to finish this year strong and come back even better next year. You continue to build off the success, (but) teams already know who he is when they watch film. To get that household name, you’ve got to do it year in and year out.”
Los Angeles is already planning to face the Cardinals on Sunday without starting quarterback Jared Goff, leading rusher Darrell Henderson, leading receiver Cooper Kupp and starting defensive tackle Michael Brockers. Goff and Henderson are injured, while Kupp and Brockers are on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Rookie Cam Akers, the Rams’ second-leading rusher, also might miss his second straight game with a high ankle sprain. He participated in Friday’s practice on a limited basis.
Los Angeles is on its first two-game losing streak of the season heading into the regular-season finale.
NOTES: LB Micah Kiser is out for Sunday, McVay confirmed. The Rams’ second-leading tackler hasn’t played since Nov. 23. … McVay says Akers’ availability will be a game-time decision. … Although McVay said he “will be rooting for my buddy Matt LaFleur,” the Green Bay head coach and McVay’s former assistant, he won’t be asking for updates on the Packers-Bears game on the SoFi Stadium sideline Sunday: “We’re not naive to what the circumstances are surrounding that. But the reality is you don’t have to watch them if you handle your own business, and that’s where our focus is.”
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