The connections between the coaching staffs range from Kevin O’Connell, Zac Robinson and Shane Waldron in Los Angeles to Josh McDaniels and Jedd Fisch in New England.
But there are additional former Patriots and former Rams found on the rosters heading into Thursday at SoFi Stadium. Just not on the offensive side of the football.
Here’s a glance through those familiar names as the 8:20 p.m. ET kickoff approaches.
Derek Rivers, linebacker – The Rams claimed Rivers off waivers via New England midway through November. Youngstown State’s all-time sack leader had appeared in eight games this season for the organization that drafted him No. 83 overall in 2017, recording four tackles and 1.5 sacks. Rivers saw his first and third NFL campaigns end in August due to knee injuries. In between was a 2018 campaign in which he checked into seven contests from September through January on the way to earning a Super Bowl LIII ring. The 26-year-old Rivers made his Rams debut versus the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, notching a handful of snaps on defense and 16 on special teams.
Troy Hill, cornerback – In December 2015, Hill found himself a Patriot for five days after being awarded via the Cincinnati Bengals. “We felt like he was a guy we wanted to take a look at, at that position, one as you know we haven’t had a tremendous amount of depth there all year,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said at the time. “So we claimed him. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m looking forward to working with him.” The undrafted rookie out of Oregon would then be waived and claimed off waivers by the Rams of St. Louis on New Year’s Eve. Hill has made 35 starts over the regular seasons since then. His Rams run includes six interceptions, a sack and forced fumble, three recoveries as well as two recent touchdowns in as many games. Hill, 29, signed a two-year extension leading up to 2019.
Kai Forbath, kicker – An emergency appendectomy one Thanksgiving ago led to the release of Nick Folk and the signing of Forbath, who’d convert one field goal and go 1-of-2 on extra points in his lone appearance for the Patriots. The veteran kicker by way of UCLA was released the following day and went on to make stops with the Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears before signing off the practice squad to the Los Angeles 53-man roster in October. The Rams placed Forbath on injured reserve due to an ankle issue last month after the 33-year-old checked in for two games and attempted three field goals.
Dayan Lake, cornerback – The Patriots signed Lake to the practice squad on Wednesday. The 23-year-old defensive back totaled 203 tackles, two sacks, six interceptions and seven fumble recoveries during his Brigham Young tenure. He went undrafted in April and agreed to terms with the Rams. Lake, who was waived by Los Angeles as the calendar turned to September, spent time with the Conquerors of The Spring League this fall and worked out for New England this week.
Cody Davis, safety – A member of 2013 undrafted class in St. Louis, Davis would remain through the move to Los Angeles. The Texas Tech alum entered into 65 games over five regular seasons as a Ram, carving a role on special teams while also logging the first five starts of his NFL career. Davis had totaled 60 tackles to go with a pair of interceptions, a pair of fumble recoveries and one forced fumble by the time he departed for the Jacksonville Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in 2018. And thus far into his stay with the Patriots, the 31-year-old has been in for nine contests as part of the kicking game while recording six tackles. And last Sunday in Los Angeles, a blocked Chargers field goal courtesy of Davis led to a touchdown return by fellow safety Devin McCourty.