With St. Louis Rams outside linebacker Alec Ogletree sidelined for perhaps the remainder of the season, Akeem Ayers will get the first crack at replacing the team's leading tackler.
Ogletree was scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday for a broken right fibula. The Rams will then have to make a decision with Ogletree, either placing him on season-ending injured reserve or on IR/designated for return if they think he'll be back this season.
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Ayers spent his first three-plus seasons with the Tennessee Titans before he was dealt to New England last year and registered a career-high four sacks in nine games with the Patriots. Coach Jeff Fisher told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Ayers will have no problems sliding from weak-side linebacker into Ogletree's strong-side slot.
Ogletree led the Rams in tackles in each of his first two seasons and registered a team-high 10 in Sunday's victory at Arizona before he was injured.
"He was on a tear. Personally, he was on as good of a three-game start as I've seen," Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said of Ogletree. "You really saw his raw talent start to come into form.