The injury bug has bitten the Rams particularly hard in the last few weeks, but head coach Jeff Fisher had some positive news to come out of the weekend in his Monday press conference.
On quarterback Case Keenum, Fisher said the team is hopeful the signal-caller will be able to return this week. Keenum is still going through the process of the concussion protocol, but he was much better Monday than he had been previously.
Without getting too detailed about the protocol itself, Fisher did explain some of the factors that kept Keenum out of Sunday’s contest.
“The testing got to the point where our doctors felt like it would be OK to let him go out to practice, and not subject him to contact by no means, but see how he is running around,” Fisher said. “He got some reps on Wednesday and then on Friday, he took a few reps and he was honest with us and said he just doesn’t feel right. So we pulled him out on Friday.
And so once Keenum is medically cleared, he will once again be the starter.
“I don’t buy in to the philosophy where someone’s going to lose their job because they got hurt,” Fisher said. “Unfortunately, Case had the set of circumstances at the end of the Baltimore game that prevented him from playing last week. Hopefully, he’s going to be back this week and he’ll play. I’m going to give Case a fair shot.”
Defensive end Robert Quinn has been nursing a few different injuries this season, and right now his back is the most significant issue. Still, Fisher sounded encouraged about Quinn’s progress in working through it.
“It’s rest and rehab and core strengthening and those kind of things. We’re going to keep an eye on it,” Fisher said. “He wants to come back. He doesn’t have 100 percent of his lower body strength right now.”
The offensive line may also get one of its starters back this week in Rob Havenstein. The right tackle was active on a just-in-case basis Sunday, which Fisher said is good news for his potential availability this week.
The numerous injuries along the offensive line have caused a lot of movement up front, especially from Garrett Reynolds. The veteran has now played three positions, and Fisher has been pleased with how well he’s done.
“You can’t be more proud of Garrett,” Fisher said. “He’s played three different positions in four weeks. He’s playing left guard, he’s playing right guard, he’s starting at right tackle.”
Elsewhere on the injury front, Fisher said cornerback Trumaine Johnson (thigh) has not yet been ruled out for this week, so there’s a chance he could play. Rookie offensive lineman Andrew Donnal (knee) is a bit ahead of schedule, so he’s coming along well. And kicker Greg Zuerlein may have a chance to play against the Cardinals, but the team will know more at the end of the week.
CHANGING THE PRACTICE SCHEDULE
The Rams shifted the way they scheduled practice at the beginning of this season with the team getting on the field Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. This week, they’ll go back to the more traditional NFL schedule of having Tuesday as the players’ day off, and then getting on the field Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Fisher said the season getting later was a factor for making the change.
At this point, Fisher said it’s a one-week shift, so we’ll see how things potentially go.
UPDATE ON STEDMAN BAILEY
Fisher had positive news to share about the wide receiver on Monday.
“His girlfriend texted a picture to some of his teammates yesterday in the locker room of him signing his name on a piece of paper, so got to share that with the team yesterday and it was good news,” Fisher said. “We don’t have any more information other than he’s recovering. He’s still in intensive care recovering.”
The team got the message prior to kickoff, and wide receiver Tavon Austin alluded to the it in his comments after the game.
“I know his girlfriend is telling him [about the game] right now,” Austin said Sunday. “She’s right by his side and she’s telling him play-by-play of how we’re doing. I know that for a fact. So that’s one person we know we still have to ride for.”