Safety valve: Rams' Barron racks up 16 tackles in move to linebacker

Mark Barron registered 16 tackles in his move from safety to linebacker. Jasen Vinlove USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams absorbed a big blow on defense when outside linebacker Alec Ogletree suffered a fractured right fibula that left his season in doubt.

Replacing the team's leading tackler from each of the past two seasons would be no easy task, but the Week 6 bye allowed the Rams to get creative with their linebacker corps and slide Mark Barron from safety to weak-side linebacker for Sunday's game versus Cleveland.

"I think that's a great spot for Mark," Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins said. "Hard-nosed hitter. Loves to be around the ball. High energy."

Barron made the move look brilliant with a stellar performance Sunday. He registered a team-high 16 tackles, including 10 solo and two for losses, as the Rams forced four turnovers, collected four sacks and surrendered only a pair of field goals in a 24-6 victory.

"I'm just playing football," Barron said. "That's easy to me. I just line up and I know my responsibility. And as long as I know my responsibility, I can do that. It's not a hard adjustment. It's just football."

Barron helped snuff out one of Cleveland's last hopes, combining with safety T.J. McDonald to force a fumble by Browns wideout Travis Benjamin near midfield early in the fourth quarter. The Rams recovered and running back Todd Gurley scored seven plays later for a commanding 24-6 lead.

"We've asked him to do a lot more with Alec being gone," St. Louis middle linebacker James Laurinaitis said of Barron. "He knows a lot of football and really triggers when he sees a play happening he goes for it."

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