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Rams News & Notes 8/28: Cooper to Miss Time with Shoulder Injury

Posted Aug 28, 2016

HC Jeff Fisher announced Sunday rookie WR Pharoh Cooper may miss the season opener with a shoulder injury.

After Saturday evening’s contest in Denver, head coach Jeff Fisher was optimistic the Rams had not suffered any injuries that would keep players out for a significant amount of time. Unfortunately, that will not be the case, particularly with wide receiver Pharoh Cooper.

“We’re going to be without Pharoh Cooper for a few weeks with a shoulder injury,” head coach Jeff Fisher said. “I don’t know how long, but it looks like he’ll probably miss the opener, and we’ll just see how quickly he can come back from that.”

The wide receiver suffered the injury on an acrobatic third-down reception from quarterback Jared Goff. While high, the throw appeared to be in the only place Cooper would realistically have a shot at reeling it in. That he did, using one hand to halt the ball’s path before securing it with two as he went to the ground. Replay shows Cooper’s shoulder hit the ground hard before he was touched down by Broncos defenders.

The injury may have an impact on the Rams’ roster cuts, as the initial 53-man roster must be set by Sept. 3 at 1 p.m. PT.

“You have to take all those things into consideration. He’s had a great camp, we drafted him for a reason,” Fisher said. “We’ll have to make some decisions next weekend that kind of revolve around his status, if you will.”

Drafted in the fourth round, Cooper has excelled in his first training camp, quickly becoming a key component to the Rams’ offense, with Fisher recently naming him among the club’s top-three receivers. He’s made two receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown in preseason action.

INJURY UPDATES

— Cornerback E.J. Gaines’ comeback has hit another speed bump, as the Mizzou product suffered a quad strain in Saturday’s game.

“He may miss some time,” Fisher said.

As it was with Gaines’ earlier injuries this preseason, Fisher said part of the issue may be attributed to the cornerback concentrating on rehabbing the foot injury that caused him to miss all of 2015.

“Oftentimes, when players are gone and not available for that length of time and they do return, that there are other little issues that come up,” Fisher said. “I’m hoping this is the last thing that comes up because he was extremely durable his rookie year as a starter for us, he was there week after week after week.”

Gaines started Saturday’s contest at corner opposite Trumaine Johnson. He played 18 snaps — the same as the majority of the first-team defense.

— Wide receiver Nelson Spruce has been out since suffering a knee injury in the first exhibition matchup against Dallas. Fisher said he’s progressing steadily, and is doing some running at this point.

“I wouldn’t think he’s going to play this week, but he may be close, which is encouraging,” Fisher said.

Even though Spruce has missed the last few weeks of camp, he has clearly made an impression on the Rams’ brass that may give him a chance to make the initial 53-man roster.

“There’s a lot of things to consider,” Fisher said. “We coveted Nelson after the draft and we saw some things that we really liked and you saw them in the game. Unfortunately, he’s missed time, so we’re just going to have to address that this weekend.”

— The Rams had two players enter the concussion protocol form Saturday’s game, left tackle Greg Robinson and cornerback Troy Hill.

“Both of them are way ahead of schedule and didn’t have any residual effects,” Fisher said. “The question is, with the short week and a Thursday game versus a Sunday game, it probably makes sense to err on the side of caution in the event they’re both cleared and ready to play.”

— Right tackle Rob Havenstein, who was taken off the physically unable to perform list on Friday, went through a solid pregame warm-up and will practice this week.

“That’s why we took him off PUP, so he could participate with his teammates,” Fisher said. “So we’ll see how he is by the end of the week. Probably unlikely that he plays this week, but we’re going to get him some practice reps under his belt.”

EXTRA POINTS

— Like many in the NFL, the Rams have a particularly short week to end the preseason. The club will hold two practices this week — one Monday and one Tuesday — before heading to Minneapolis on Wednesday.

“We have to travel, we have to come back and as we mentioned, we’ll start the final cut down process,” Fisher said.

Complicating the process, once the team returns from Minnesota, it will be moving from Irvine up to its so-called “temporary-permanent” facility in Thousand Oaks.

“We’ve already started that,” Fisher said. “So we have a lot of work to do this week.”

— Fisher said he thought wide receiver Brian Quick responded well with his play against the Broncos.

“I thought he was better,” Fisher said. “He got open. He was a little bit more explosive in his routes when he got the opportunities. I thought he improved. We never had any issues with his blocking, but I thought he played better yesterday.”