When fans of the Los Angeles Rams watched Leonard Floyd in action, they saw a towering, attacking edge defender who wrecked his own havoc on quarterbacks opposite of Von Miller – all in the name of inflicting pain to opposing offenses and quarterbacks.
What fans do not know: Floyd was dealing with a great deal of pain on his end. The veteran outside linebacker / edge rusher revealed the admission to the LA media on Wednesday, June 1 after Organized Team Activities (OTAs) at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks.
Floyd Played on Injured Ankle
Floyd’s name did surface multiple times on the injury report. And it was for the same area: His ankle.
But this wasn’t any kind of ankle stiffness or soreness. The 29-year-old Floyd finally revealed he had played on a bad right ankle that eventually needed to undergo surgery.
How impactful was the ailment? Floyd described it as one that involved needing some rest, even though he found his way into the Rams’ starting lineup on defense during their pursuit of Super Bowl 56.
“It’s a tough injury,” he said to reporters. “There was days after practice, I wouldn’t really be able to walk around the house.”
Still, Floyd didn’t want to be in street clothes inside the “Rams House” or during away games.
“But you got to sacrifice if you want to win,” Floyd said. “We probably wouldn’t have gotten the Super Bowl if I didn’t play. So it’s part of the sacrifice and I’m glad I did it. ”
What Floyd Accomplished Through the Injured Ankle
Bad ankle and all, Floyd was still an integral part of a Rams pass rush that produced 50 regular season sacks last season.
Floyd went on to produce 9.5 of those sacks as he started every single game. Nine of those 17 starts witnessed Floyd snatch a sack per Pro Football Reference. Notable quarterbacks he tussled down with the ball in tow? Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson and twice, Tom Brady which includes this third down sack during their NFC second round encounter:
Outside of sacks, Floyd also intercepted a pass (his first since 2018 while with the Chicago Bears) and went on to produce career-highs in tackles (70) and solo stops (37).
How Floyd Has Approached the Surgery Since
Floyd isn’t rushing back to show the same skillset that turned him into a valuable rusher on the Rams defense.
“I’m taking my time, coming back from a surgery,” Floyd said. “I’m looking forward to being back next week, doing a whole lot more. I pretty much played the whole season, I had injured it in camp last year. Yeah, I battled through the whole season and got it cleaned up and I’ll be good to go this season. ”
Floyd was creating his pressure opposite of Von Miller and with Aaron Donald applying his heat from the trenches. Now, Floyd is the lone member of that pass rushing trio who has taken part in OTAs as Miller has since become a Buffalo Bill and Donald is still on the fence of retirement following his latest comments on the “I Am Athlete” podcast.
Regardless if Donald shows up, Floyd is well aware that times are much different now for him and the Rams – as they now become the hunted for teams in 2022.
“It’s very different because coming in, we got a target on our back this year,” Floyd said. “We’ve got to make sure we come every game knowing that we got to put our best efforts out there.”