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5 observations from Rams practice on Thursday

LA had a live “game like” scrimmage and we’re learning more about the Rams as the season approaches

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Rams Joint Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams hosted an intra-squad scrimmage on Thursday in order to prepare for the September 12th matchup against the Chicago Bears at Sofi Stadium. LA has held the team’s starters and key role players out of preseason action. Aside from joint practices held with the Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders, this figures to be a full game simulation for those who are planning to make the regular season 53-man roster.

The intra-squad scrimmage is closed to the public, but we’ve gathered some tweets and observations to get you up to speed.

Around 35-38 Rams have not participated in the preseason, which, barring any surprise cuts, leaves only 15 or so roster spots up for grabs. Los Angeles will take the field for their final preseason game Saturday night in Denver against the Broncos.

Sony Michel takes the field for first practice as a Rams RB

It seems freshly acquired running back Sony Michel has joined the team in Los Angeles. The Rams reportedly sent a 2022 sixth round draft selection with a 2023 fourth rounder to the New England Patriots in exchange for the veteran. Michel will wear number 14 for LA, which is a unique number choice for a running back. However, there is a possibility players change numbers once final cuts are made.

Rookie CB Robert Rochell is returning to health

After suffering a wrist injury early in training camp, rookie corner Robert Rochell appears to be on the mend. Rochell has had some run with the first team at times, and given his elite athleticism he could play a key role on special teams as well

EDGE Terrell Lewis stands out

While EDGE rushers Chris Garrett and Justin Lawler have both had excellent performances in the preseason, Terrell Lewis did not participate because of a lingering knee issue. With final cuts looming, Lewis has joined his teammates on the practice field and is looking to make the most of his opportunity. The former third round draft selection is a high-end athlete and flashed potential at times last season; however, it remains to be seen if Lewis can remain healthy and become a reliable contributor at OLB.

Notable play-by-play action

Wide receiver Cooper Kupp increasingly seems to be a favorite target of quarterback Matthew Stafford. The two linked up again on a deep pass during the scrimmage. While Kupp has recently been a trusted option on short and intermediate passes, it is encouraging to see him use the full depth of the field.

The most recent reports indicate that Kenny Young is the favorite to take the most snaps at inside linebacker earlier in the season. The starting ILB duo figures to be Young and Troy Reeder, but Reeder will likely be replaced by an extra defensive back in certain sub packages and passing situations. Young is a rangy and athletic linebacker that can play sideline-to-sideline.

Van Jefferson seems to be continuing his streak of solid plays in practice. One of the lingering questions for the Rams on offense will be the target distribution between Jefferson and DeSean Jackson as the third and fourth wide receivers. If Jefferson can play a significant role this season, LA should be able to manage Jackson’s workload to prevent wear and tear.

Stafford also completed a touchdown pass to veteran tight-end Tyler Higbee against what appears to be starting corner Darious Williams who is wearing number 11 this season. Higbee is important to the team as both a blocker and receiver, though it is fair to expect his targets to increase with a new signal caller in town.

A’Shawn Robinson injury news and other post-practice comments & notes

Similar to most fans waking up on the west coast Wednesday morning, news of the trade caught Michel by surprise.

It also seems Michel’s arrival reminds star defensive lineman Aaron Donald of some bad memories from the 2018 Super Bowl. As a rookie, the running back scored the only touchdown in that game.

Head coach Sean McVay also chimed in on the trade news for the first time. Both McVay and general manager Les Snead have complimented Michel’s history of performance in big games. The coach’s comments further support the idea that Darrell Henderson and Michel will work in tandem this season, with young players Jake Funk and Xavier Jones also expected to contribute at times on offense in addition to their roles on special teams.

McVay also shared the unfortunate news that veteran defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson has suffered a knee injury and will miss a few weeks. This puts his availability for Week 1 in question, as we are currently two and a half weeks out.

It also seems another defensive starter could miss some time due to injury. EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo has been reportedly dealing with a shoulder stinger and the team is continuing to monitor the situation.