The Los Angeles Rams are just five days away from their first game of the 2017 preseason. Exciting times. New coaching staff, new players, new team. It’ll be our first chance to get a genuine look at the new team the Rams have managed to built. It happens to be on display against the Dallas Cowboys, just like last year.
Let’s jump into some reports on Rams players eight practices into training camp:
WR Mike Thomas
WR Tavon Austin
WR Josh Reynolds
These guys make the list due to injury. All three have been injured in practice and have missed valuable practice time. Now, Thomas obviously has the suspension as well, but being hurt doesn’t help anyone forget that situation. We’ll see how things go now that he’s been taken off the PUP. Austin had offseason surgery on his wrist, and now has a minor issue with his hamstring. Reynolds pulled up on his quad.
DE Dominique Easley
This is sort of a cop-out answer, but Easley tore his ACL last week and will miss the season. Worse than that, he is a 25-year old now with three ACL tears, and if he needed even worse news.... this season was a contract year for him.
TE Cory Harkey
In last night’s press conference, Head Coach Sean McVay singled out TE Tyler Higbee, TE Gerald Everett and TE Temarrick Hemingway as the three tight ends to standout on the roster thus far. Also, the Rams drafted a 6th-round FB/TE in Sam Rogers in the 2017 NFL Draft. Rogers is quickly becoming a fan favorite after being the first player out on the field everyday. It’s not necessarily something that Harkey’s done or not, but being a Fisher guy just doesn’t bode well for his roster chances.
TE Tyler Higbee
Higbee has been the recipient of everything leaving QB Jared Goff’s hands, or so we hear. He was listed as the #1 TE on a meaningless depth chart, but it’s notable nonetheless. Higbee has done nothing but separate himself on the offense, and looks primed to be a very important part to this offense.
RB Todd Gurley
From all accounts, Gurley looks to be back to his regular self, though it’s truly hard to evaluate an RB without actual real game footage. He is running with power or “violence,” his vision seems to be corrected, and even more so than anything, he’s been a big player in the receiving game. If RB Lance Dunbar can’t get healthy, the Rams may rely on Gurley to do a lot more pass work than they initially thought. That can only help the offense as Gurley is a good receiver. There’s even been word of Gurley and the other RBs flexing out wide as receivers.
FS Lamarcus Joyner
Joyner has had a bunch of practice interceptions. It sounds like he’s really making his presence felt on the back end, and plans to stay at safety for the immediate time being. For a guy who’s always been a solid player, more playing time and versatility will help Joyner get more comfortable with his role in the defense and allows him to roam and make more plays. On multiple occasions, Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips has mentioned that his secondary will be the surprise of his defense. It may well have something to do with the new FS.
WR Cooper Kupp
What is there not to say about this guy? Basically from anyone watching the Rams practice, nothing but glowing evaluations have come from Kupp. His savvy route running, great hands, and ability to pickup the offense with ease have all been major talking points of the offseason. It sounds like Goff and Kupp are slowly developing a chemistry that will hopefully translate to the big stage - game time. For now, the Rams have to be very pleased with their selection of Kupp, as he sounds to be very comfortable and ready to be a big contributor to this offense.