A day earlier, the Rams (10-4) appeared on track to have all starters available for a Sunday matchup against the Minnesota Vikings (7-7) at U.S. Bank Stadium after safety Jordan Fuller and tight end Tyler Higbee were activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list.
With a victory over the Vikings, the Rams can clinch a playoff berth for the fourth time in Sean McVay’s five seasons as coach and would remain in the race to win the NFC West, where they’re tied for first with the Arizona Cardinals (10-4).
Backup offensive tackle Joe Noteboom also remains on reserve/COVID-19 after he was placed on the list last Saturday, leaving some questions as to who will start if both tackles remain unavailable.
Offensive tackle Bobby Evans is a potential option after he started at right tackle in a 20-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks last Tuesday when right tackle Rob Havenstein and Noteboom also were on reserve/COVID-19.
A 16-year pro, Whitworth became the first 40-year-old to start a game at left tackle in Week 14 and has started 233 of 253 career games.
The Rams’ COVID-19 outbreak began in the days before a Week 14 win over the Arizona Cardinals and eventually reached up to 29 players being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
Currently, the Rams have five players on reserve/COVID-19, including Whitworth, Noteboom and three practice squad players.