By now we already know the Los Angeles Rams fell to the Oakland Raiders this past Saturday in their first match of the 2019 preseason. Big deal, right? No...not really. The starters didn’t get any playing time, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Sean McVay has made it abundantly clear that he’s not putting his starters in a position to get themselves hurt — and it’s hard to argue with him. Instead, depth players will get meaningful snaps and bubble guys will have an opportunity to stake their claim for a roster spot.
We’re only a few weeks removed from a time where wins and losses will matter. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at how things are progressed through the final days of training camp, leading up to their first preseason matchup. And in case you missed it, or simply for reference, here’s what happened in Week 1 of camp.
Starting the week off on the wrong foot
The first bit of news last week was unfortunately regarding the injury front — something the Rams’ training staff have done an incredible job of minimizing. Primarily it was the absence of OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo that drew attention. Sean McVay addressed it pretty succinctly on Sunday:
He’s been banged up. We’re hopeful to get him back sooner than later. He has been banged up.
Fast forward to as recently as yesterday, and we know now that Ogbo is dealing with injuries to his hamstrings. No bueno.
Do the Rams even know who’s going to start at ILB?
I think most figured second year linebacker Micah Kiser was a shoo-in for the starting spot. But it was Bryce Hager who was getting reps with the starters to begin the week.
Second day in a row that Bryce Hager getting first team reps over Micah Kiser at Mike LB in base defense— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) August 3, 2019
Kiser did get the start against the Raiders, for what it’s worth (more on that below).
Training camp wrap-up
Camp came to a conclusion last Sunday (Aug. 4). Here’s how coach felt about the work they’d gotten in and what lie ahead (full transcript here):
I think we got a lot of good work in. Really, what we just said to the team is even though we’re leaving Irvine we’re not breaking camp. We are still in camp mode for the next, really, week and a half or so. We got to continue to get great work day-in and day-out. We’re looking forward to two good days of work against the Raiders next week. Guys will have the day off tomorrow. We’ll come back, we’ll have some meetings and some mental, above the neck stuff on what I guess it will be Tuesday. Then, we’ll travel that same day and have great work against the Raiders. It will be good.
The (un)official depth chart
I won’t bore you with it, because our man 3k did a fine job of summing it up at each position, but here’s a look at the Rams’ initial depth chart release.
Needless to say...this will remain pretty fluid over the next couple of weeks.
High profile signing alert!
The Rams signed a guy!
#LARams signed P Brock Miller today. HC Sean McVay says with continuity and talent of both Greg Zuerlein and Johnny Hekker, this is a chance to give someone else reps who can both punt and kick during the preseason.— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) August 6, 2019
Punches thrown between the Raiders offense and Rams defense at combined practice. Sean McVay sprints over from the field where offense is playing to check out situation. A minute later, play resumes. pic.twitter.com/CCCi90D0Ee— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) August 8, 2019
In addition to this scuffle (above), apparently Raiders’ guard Gabe Jackson tried to throw hands with Aaron Donald. Can you imagine doing that and still being alive to tell about it? Me neither.
The “big” game
The moment we’d all been waiting for...the return of LA Rams’ footbaw. Honestly, it was pretty tough to watch. Flags were all over the place, the Rams couldn’t get anything going offensively, and fell 14-3 to the Raiders on Saturday night. 3k once again had us covered on the “action.”
And there ya have it. Another training camp is in the books and the preseason is in full swing. Up next: the Rams host the Dallas Cowboys this Saturday night at 8pm ET.