The good news is that Los Angeles Rams football is back, kicking the preseason off this Saturday against their housemates, the Los Angeles Chargers. The bad news is that Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is ambivalent, at best, about preseason games.
McVay has not, historically, played his starters or key reserves in the preseason, preferring to evaluate players in a controlled atmosphere. Last year, the Rams held out 38 players in the first preseason game. That is not to say these early games are meaningless. For players in the bottom third of the 91 man roster, standing out on NFL game situations, particularly in live special teams action, can be be the difference between making the squad or moving on.
Just to update this -- # of players held out from playing games this weekend:— Greg Auman (@gregauman) August 15, 2021
Jags 7 https://t.co/Ejx8CYMPkU
Last year, Bryce Perkins’ ability to make plays led to the Rams keeping a third quarterback. On the offensive line, Alaric Jackson and Coleman Shelton showed they deserved a backup role. There are still some important roles to be won. RB3, WR4, DL4, ILB3, and E3 are open to be claimed by a standout preseason. There’s a chance L.A. could put more stock in these warmup games in 2022, because the team has not announced any controlled scrimmages.
While who doesn’t play (injuries aside) may say more about the roster than who does, but the performance of the rookies will be noteworthy, nonetheless. Top draft choice Logan Bruss will be under the spotlight at guard, tight end Jamal Pettigrew is mountain-sized with skills, and Decobie Durant, Derion Kendrick and Russ Yeast will battle four veterans for the last two (if the Rams keep 10) secondary spots.
For all the Rams players involved, it’s a chance to get some work on tape. Not only to be graded and gleaned for mistakes to rehabilitate, but for opposing team scouts and coaches, looking for candidates to upgrade their own squads.
It’s not just the L.A. players and coaches, fans have things to work on, as well. Working out and finding what a new grill can do, installing and developing a new scheme of recipes, and hoping a new beverage can show out and win a regular role in the rotation.
How to follow the game
Date: Saturday August 13
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PST
Location: Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, Ca.
Watch: LA local stations ABC7 and KCBS, Spanish broadcast on EstrellaTV (KCRA). Affiliate stations include KFMB (San Diego), KQCA (Sacramento), KBAK (Bakersfield), KSEE (Fresno), KSBW(Monterey), KTVX (Salt Lake City), and KGMB (Honolulu).
Live stream: LA Rams official app, NFL Plus, Hulu Live, fubo TV, Sling TV, Peacock, A,T&T TV (formerly known as DirecTV) and many others.
Listen: ESPN LA 710 AM, 93.1 Jack FM, Tu Liga Radio 1330 AM
Current betting odds:
Line: Rams +3.5 -110
Over/under total: 30 -110
Money line: Rams +140 / Chargers -165 according to DraftKings Sportsbook.