Short-handed Los Angeles Rams win key NFC West matchup against Arizona Cardinals


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey returned to Los Angeles on a private jet after producing a positive COVID-19 test, while tight end Tyler Higbee was left to wonder whether he had contracted the coronavirus at all after a series of tests produced differing results.

In the hours leading to kickoff against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football, the Rams were scrambling to make roster moves after Ramsey and Higbee joined three other teammates on the reserve/COVID-19 list, making them unavailable to play.

But none of that proved to matter by the game’s end.

Down four starters on reserve/COVID-19, and after having lost three of their previous four games, the Rams defeated the division-leading Cardinals 30-23 and now sit only a game behind them in the NFC West after splitting the season series.

The Rams improved to 9-4, while the Cardinals fell to 10-3.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 23 of 30 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns.

Linebacker Ernest Jones and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd each intercepted a pass from quarterback Kyler Murray, who finished 32-of-49 for 383 yards. The Rams converted both takeaways into touchdowns.

The Rams were as shorthanded as they’ve been all season due to the coronavirus, which caused five players in total to miss Monday’s game.

“Wish I could be out there tonight,” Ramsey wrote on his Instagram page before the game. “I’m pissed off but Go Rams tho regardless! (I feel fine/normal)…”

Running back Darrell Henderson was placed on the COVID list on Saturday, followed by right tackle Rob Havenstein and cornerback Dont’e Deayon on Sunday.

Sony Michel started in Henderson’s absence and rushed for 79 yards on 20 carries, and reserve tackle Joe Noteboom started in Havenstein’s absence.

The Rams now return to Los Angeles where they will play the 5-8 Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

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