The Rams began their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday afternoon with the first of three scheduled practices. Here are five takeaways from the session.
1) Donald returns
One ongoing storyline over the last three weeks has been the absence of defensive tackle Aaron Donald from the Rams' voluntary OTAs. Although there is no update on Donald's contract status, he was back at Los Angeles facility on Tuesday.
Donald participated in the day's walk-thru but did only conditioning work on the side during practice.
"It's great to have Aaron here," head coach Sean McVay said. "He's really kept up with what's going on mentally – such a sharp, natural football player. Kind of made a seamless transition with the walk-thru. It's great to have him back here around his teammates."
McVay said he wasn't concerned with Donald having to get caught up from a physical or playbook standpoint.
"He's such a conscientious player that I think he's one of the few players that you do feel good about his ability to be able to get up to speed in a quick manner," McVay said. "You certainly would love to have those guys here, but with Aaron, he's a guy that's such a natural football player, I think the game comes simple to him."
2) Quinn undergoes minor procedure**
Outside linebacker Robert Quinn will not participate in minicamp after undergoing what McVay termed a minor procedure on his hand. Quinn, however, should be just fine for when training camp begins in late July.
"When you look at what he's done this offseason, the way that he's competed, it was a situation where we were able to get it addressed so that it's going to be fixed," Mcvay said.
"We're just being extra cautious with him," McVay added. "He's going to be good to go when things get rolling for us."
3) Goff adds weight
Quarterback Jared Goff has added about 10 pounds since last season, bringing his weight to about 220. Where will that help him on the field?
"Everywhere," Goff said. "My freshman year to my sophomore year, I put on quite a few pounds. I kind of felt it in the pocket, the ability to kind of make one guy miss is a big deal. The ability to not get tackled by just a hand, by just a guy grabbing your jersey is a big deal. I think that's where it will help the most."
"I think that weight, when you're thinking about some of the throws that you have to make in the face of a pass rush and where you have to absorb those hits — I think it just allows you to be a little bit sturdier," McVay said.
But Goff said adding weight wasn't influenced by anything that happened on the field last year.
"I'm always trying to improve my weight, always trying to get heavier, always trying to get stronger, always trying to get faster," Goff said. "I don't think any situation in particular prompts that, it's just innate since I've been 12, I've been trying to continue to get stronger."
4) Gurley's team-oriented attitude**
Running back Todd Gurley II is surely looking for a bounce-back season after a tough 2016. But for him, team victories are significantly more important than his personal statistics.
"We probably wouldn't have this discussion if we were 14-2 and I had 200 yards [last year]," Gurley said. "It really doesn't matter what I do or what anyone else does on this team. It's about what we do as a team together."
It's an attitude his teammates and coaches can see each day.
"I think the best thing about him is how team-orientated he is. We could win every game, and he couldn't have a touch — he wouldn't really care," Goff said. "He wants to win the games and he wants to do whatever is best for the team and that's my favorite part about him."
"I think he's certainly done his part in setting a good example for what it looks like to be one of the standards on this team," McVay said.
5) Alexander working his way back
Safety Maurice Alexander has been sidelined for much of the offseason program by a hip injury. But on Tuesday, he participated in the individual drills portion of Los Angeles' minicamp practice.
"My body's feeling good — and it's better being out there with the guys," Alexander said. "So I feel great."
While Alexander will participate only in walk-thru and individual drills this week, he said he should be fine for when training camp begins.
As for where he fits in coordinator Wade Phillips' defense, Alexander said he's mainly been working at strong safety. But he feels comfortable with playing at both strong and free. Last year, Alexander mainly played at free safety for Los Angeles.
Check out photos from the Los Angeles Rams first minicamp practice. Photos by Ric Tapia.