Rams defensive end Ethan Westbrooks is facing five felony gun charges after getting arrested over the weekend in Bakersfield.
Westbrooks was pulled over Friday night for speeding by the California Highway Patrol, at which point the officer found a loaded gun in Westbrook’s car. A subsequent check revealed the gun was reported stolen in 2009.
Both are felony offenses.
Upon being arrested and booked, Westbrooks was charged with five counts: Carrying a loaded firearm, receiving known stolen property, carrying a loaded stolen weapon, grand theft of a firearm and possessing a high-capacity large magazine.
His arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 5.
“It’s just a bad situation,” Westbrooks said.
The Rams had no immediate statement to Westbook’s arrest. The 3-year veteran from West Texas A&M was released on bail and was back with the Rams for practice on Monday in Thousand Oaks.
Westbrooks declined to provide any further details.
“It’s a legal matter so I can’t really talk about it,” Westbrooks said.
Westbrooks said he was “looking forward” to clearing his name, but when asked if he believed the ultimate outcome would be favorable, he said: “I honestly can’t say. I don’t know.”
Westbrooks said he spoke about the matter with Rams coach Sean McVay, but that there was no indication from the team whether he’d play Sunday against the Cowboys in Dallas.
It’s the second brush with the law for Westbrooks in less than a year. He was arrested last March on suspicion of domestic violence in Sacramento, although the Sacramento County district attorney declined to file charges.
Westbrooks, a native of Oakland, attended Franklin High in El Grove and later San Joaquin and Sacramento City Colleges before ending up at West Texas A&M, where he earned Lone Star Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2012.
- Vincent Bonsignore
Players address Trump comments
As teams across the NFL responded to Donald Trump’s divisive comments about the league and its protesting players, Rams players spent Sunday away from the team’s facility, watching on their own as players, coaches and owners alike sent a league-wide message of solidarity.
So on Monday morning, when Rams players reconvened for meetings, McVay quickly addressed “the elephant in the room,” as punter Johnny Hekker called it.
“(McVay) handled it in a very appropriate, mature way, and said, ‘Hey, as a team, what are we going to do?’” Hekker said. “He just wants to be on the same page because the surprise -- not planning for it — makes things difficult.”
The conversation was open. Players were encouraged to ask questions. Still, by Monday afternoon, the locker room had not yet come to a consensus on how it would handle the anthem when the Rams travel to Dallas for Sunday’s game.
“I just think we’ll do what we’ve always done,” nose tackle Michael Brockers said. “The guys that do protest, they do it, as long as we talk about it and communicate and nobody is surprised by anything. That’s what coach has been preaching.”
McVay did not speak with the media Monday, but several players were asked their feelings about Trump’s comments and the NFL’s unified demonstration of dissent. Sentiment in the locker room was mixed and nuanced, though many expressed their respect for teammates who felt differently.
Robert Quinn, who has protested during the anthem since last season, called the President’s comments unacceptable. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who plans to stand during the anthem to honor a friend who served in the military, said unity was the “ultimate goal.” Others, such as Brockers, just hoped they could “focus on football” again.
- Ryan Kartje