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Practice Report: Johnson Activated, Rams Head East

Posted Nov 3, 2017

The Rams placed safety Cody Davis on the IR list on Friday morning. Los Angeles will head to the East Coast this afternoon to face the Giants.

The Rams held their final practice of the week on Friday morning at Cal Lutheran. The team will travel to the East Coast this afternoon as it gears up to take on the Giants on Sunday. Check below for three key takeaways from the session:

INJURY UPDATE

Los Angeles released its final injury report of the week after practice on Friday. The team has been very lucky on the injury front this season and had no injuries to report. All 22 starters on their roster are currently listed as healthy and will be available to play on Sunday.

In New York, the Giants have not been so fortunate when it comes to their injuries. The team lost its two primary receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall to season-ending ankle injuries earlier this year. The Giants primary cornerback, Janoris Jenkins will also not be active on Sunday after being suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. 

Overall, the Giants have declared five players, four of whom were regular starters, out for Sunday’s contest.

New York will be without defensive end Olivier Vernon (ankle), middle linebacker B.J. Goodson (ankle), center Weston Richburg (concussion), and offensive lineman Justin Pugh (back). Defensive end Kerry Wynn, who was expected to replaced Vernon, is also out with a knee injury.

Rounding out the Giants’ injury report is cornerback Donte Deayon who is questionable with an ankle injury.

DAVIS PLACED ON IR

Before practice on Friday, safety Cody Davis was placed on the IR list after suffering a thigh injury in Week 6. Now the team will be without him for at least the next eight weeks.

The former Texas Tech standout has been a solid rotational player for the Rams defense throughout the first half of the season, recording 22 total tackles, two pass breakups and an interception. 

Head coach Sean McVay characterized Davis as “an important part of the team,” but said he feels confident with the Rams’ depth at the safety position moving forward. 

“It’s unfortunate, but he had that quad that just wasn’t getting any better,” McVay said. “So, we want to be smart, give him a full chance to recover and then we’ll look at bringing him back. But we feel good about what John Johnson III has done, obviously, getting Lamarcus Joyner back is big, Marqui Christian provides some depth, [and with] Blake Countess, we’ve got some guys that you feel good about at that safety position.” 

With the move, Los Angeles had 52 players listed on its active roster. But after practice on Friday, McVay announced that the team would be activating safety Isaiah Johnson from the practice squad in order to complete its full 53-man roster.

This weekend will mark the second time Johnson has been called up from the practice squad midseason whilst a member of the Rams organization. Last year — the former undrafted free agent out of Georgia Tech — was activated from the practice squad after Marqui Christian was placed on the injured reserve list in December.

McVay praised Johnson’s work ethic this season, saying the safety “has done a lot of nice things for us” on field. McVay also mentioned that he and the rest of his staff believed Johnson had “earned the opportunity to be brought up and continue to contribute and compete for our football team.”

After practice, Johnson said he was “very excited” to be given that opportunity, saying he was “ready to do my part and bring it.”

“The fact that I am in this situation, I am grateful and thankful,” Johnson said. “Definitely don’t want to see one of my teammates go down, so prayers go up to Cody. I know he’ll be back.”

“I’ve been working hard,” he continued. “I come in with the attitude that I’m already on the active roster. So the fact that my pay just went up a little bit doesn’t really change my mentality. I’ve [already] been here at this level mentally, so it’s just another day.”

RAMS TACKLE THIRD-STRAIGHT ON THE ROAD

The Rams Week 9 contest against the Giants will mark the club’s third straight game away from the Coliseum. In total Los Angeles will have spent 34 days without a home game. But for McVay and his players, playing on the road this season has not been much of a problem.

“It’s good to play away just to get a different atmosphere and we’ll be a little more focused,” wide receiver Sammy Watkins said. “To win on the road shows what type of team we have. But like I said, we love playing away — we feed off the crowd and we just love to compete at the highest level.”

Los Angeles is currently undefeated on the road and will be coming off of two big wins over the Jaguars and Cardinals. Overall, McVay said he was extremely proud of how the team has handled the long stretches away from home. He also mentioned that his staff has made an effort to put its players in the best position to succeed “doing a nice job of adjusting and adapting” to the various trips this season.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to continue on with having some success away from the Coliseum,” McVay said, “and see if we can get a win against a tough team this weekend.”