- Associated Press - Monday, October 9, 2017

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) - The Los Angeles Rams waived safety Maurice Alexander a day after he was a surprise healthy scratch in their 16-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Alexander started the first four games of this season, but was inactive against the Seahawks.

“There were some things where we expected a better level of play from him and he knew that. Those things were communicated,” Rams coach Sean McVay said Monday.

A fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft, Alexander appeared in 41 games, including 23 starts, for the Rams over the past three seasons. He started 14 games last season, recording 38 tackles and two interceptions.

Rookie John Johnson III replaced Alexander in the starting lineup against Seattle, and the third-round pick had three tackles and an interception.

Johnson’s emergence, combined with the play of Cody Davis and Blake Countess and the impending return of starting free safety Lamarcus Joyner, who’s missed two games with a hamstring injury, left Alexander as the odd man out in the secondary.

“I really enjoyed being around Mo, but I think it’s a credit to the depth that we’ve established at that safety position,” McVay said. “That depth allows you to be able to make some of those decisions.”

McVay had said Sunday that Alexander’s absence was not disciplinary in nature, but came from a desire to have more corners available to deal with Seattle’s passing attack.

The Rams used Alexander’s roster spot to bring back wide receiver Mike Thomas, who was suspended for four games after he violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The Rams received a roster exemption after Thomas’ suspension ended last week, but had to decide whether to activate or cut the receiver who was drafted in the sixth round in 2016.

Thomas is the seventh wide receiver on the Rams‘ 53-man roster.

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