1987 Los Angeles Rams season
OwnerGeorgia Frontiere
Head coachJohn Robinson
Home fieldAnaheim Stadium
Division place3rd NFC West
Playoff finishDid not quality

The 1987 Los Angeles Rams season was the franchise's strike shortened 50th season in the National Football League, their 40th overall, and their 42nd in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The season saw the Rams attempting to improve on their 10-6 record from 1986 and make the playoffs for the 5th straight season. However, the Rams struggled right out the gate. In their first 2 games against the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings, the Rams had 4th quarter leads and blew them. They led 13-0 in the 4th quarter at Houston and lost 20-16, while they led 16-14 at home against Minnesota and lost 21-16. The next week, a strike occurred which wiped out all week 3 games. As a result, their game at home against the Cincinnati Bengals was canceled. One week later, the Rams were thumped by the Saints 37-10 to start the season 0-3, their first such start since 1982, which was, ironically, also a season that saw a strike take place. The Rams finally got in the win column the next week, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers at home, 31-21. However, the next week in Atlanta, the Rams lost another big lead, this time after leading 17-0 at halftime and 20-7 in the 4th quarter. This was followed by embarrassing losses to the Cleveland Browns (30-17), the arch-rival San Francisco 49ers (31-10), and the Saints again (31-14) to drop to 1-7, their worst start since 1965, when they started 1-9. However, the Rams then caught fire, beating the St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis, 27-24, after trailing 24-14 in the 3rd quarter. The next week in Washington, the Rams outlasted the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football 30-26, and it appeared as though the Rams were poised to get back in the playoff race. The win over Washington was followed by blowout wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (35-3), Detroit Lions (37-16), and Atlanta Falcons (33-0) and the Rams were looking to make an improbable in-season turnaround. However, the next week against the Dallas Cowboys, the Rams lost 29-21 to eliminate them from the playoffs. The season ended with the Rams getting pummeled by the 49ers on the road, 48-0. Ultimately, the Rams finished the strike-shortened season 6-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1982.


NFL draft

Main article: 1987 NFL Draft

1987 Los Angeles Rams draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
2 47 Donald Evans  Defensive end Winston-Salem State
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career



1987 Los Angeles Rams staff
Front office
  • Owner/President – Georgia Frontiere
  • Vice President of Finance – John Shaw
  • General Counsel – Jay Zygmunt
  • Administrator of Football Operations – Jack Faulkner
  • Director of Operations – Dick Beam
  • Director of Player Personnel – John Math

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Artie Gigantino

NFL replacement players

After the league decided to use replacement players during the NFLPA strike, the following team was assembled:

1987 Los Angeles Rams replacement roster


Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


Defensive Backs

  • 21 Nolan Cromwell
  • 26 Gerald Daniels
  • 29 Kevin Dickson
  • 36 Kirby Jackson
  • 37 Reggie Richardson
  • 41 Ed Zeman
  • 43 Greg Williamson
  • 46 Holbert Johnson
  • 46 Jerome Tyler
  • 48 Craig Rutledge

Special Teams


1987 Los Angeles Rams roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics

Regular season

On October 31, 1987, the Los Angeles Rams traded Eric Dickerson to the Indianapolis Colts in a three team trade involving the Buffalo Bills. The Rams sent Dickerson to the Colts for six draft choices and two players. Buffalo obtained the rights to Cornelius Bennett from Indianapolis. Buffalo sent running back Greg Bell and three draft choices to the Rams, while Indianapolis added Owen Gill and three of their own draft picks to complete the deal with the Rams.[1]

Former Heisman Trophy winner Charles White would become the starting running back. The 1987 season would be his finest year as a pro, rushing for a league-leading 1,387 yards and 11 touchdowns, which earned him a Pro Bowl selection and the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award.

On November 23, 1987, linebacker Mike Wilcher recovered Doug Williams fumble and ran it back it 35 yards for a touchdown. It was Wilcher's only touchdown in the NFL.

Erik Kramer's 3 passing touchdown performance against the Rams on October 18, 1987, was the last three-touchdown game by an undrafted free agent rookie quarterback until Matt McGloin accomplished the feat for the Oakland Raiders on November 17, 2013, against the Houston Texans.


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 13 at Houston Oilers L 16–20 0–1 Houston Astrodome 33,186
2 September 20 Minnesota Vikings L 16–21 0–2 Anaheim Stadium 63,367
September 27 Cincinnati Bengals canceled 0–2 Anaheim Stadium
3 October 4 at New Orleans Saints L 10–37 0–3 Louisiana Superdome 29,745
4 October 11 Pittsburgh Steelers W 31–21 1–3 Anaheim Stadium 20,219
5 October 18 at Atlanta Falcons L 20–24 1–4 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 15,813
6 October 26 at Cleveland Browns L 17–30 1–5 Cleveland Municipal Stadium 76,933
7 November 1 San Francisco 49ers L 10–31 1–6 Anaheim Stadium 55,328
8 November 8 New Orleans Saints L 14–31 1–7 Anaheim Stadium 43,379
9 November 15 at St. Louis Cardinals W 27–24 2–7 Busch Memorial Stadium 27,730
10 November 23 at Washington Redskins W 30–26 3–7 RFK Stadium 53,614
11 November 29 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 35–3 4–7 Anaheim Stadium 45,188
12 December 6 at Detroit Lions W 37–16 5–7 Pontiac Silverdome 33,413
13 December 13 Atlanta Falcons W 33–0 6–7 Anaheim Stadium 43,310
14 December 21 Dallas Cowboys L 21–29 6–8 Anaheim Stadium 60,700
15 December 27 at San Francisco 49ers L 0–48 6–9 Candlestick Park 57,950
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.


NFC West
San Francisco 49ers(1) 13 2 0 .867 5–1 10–1 459 253 W6
New Orleans Saints(4) 12 3 0 .800 4–1 8–3 426 283 W9
Los Angeles Rams 6 9 0 .400 1–5 5–7 317 361 L2
Atlanta Falcons 3 12 0 .200 1–4 3–8 205 436 L3

Awards and honors

See also

Other Anaheim–based teams in 1987


  1. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p.286