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From the Podium: Rams talk preparation for Jets

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay, offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, offensive lineman Joe Noteboom and wide receiver Van Jefferson each held video conferences with local media to discuss preparation for Sunday's home game against the Jets (1:05 p.m. PT, FOX).

Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those virtual conversations:

"We've talked about having agility as a team and with our players, and these guys have seamlessly handled all the adjustments that we've had to make. And this was one of them today." – McVay

  • Offensive lineman Bobby Evans (illness), outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (not injury related), safety Nick Scott (not injury related), offensive lineman Brian Allen (not injury related) and linebacker Justin Hollins (not injury related) did not participate in practice after the Rams received a positive COVID-19 test and began contact tracing protocols.
  • McVay said it remains to be seen what this means for those five players' statuses for Sunday's game against the Jets, but he hopes to have updates "in the next 24 hours or so."

"There's no question, as we've seen some of the things (related to COVID-19) take place around the league, we've tried to learn from some of those things." – O'Connell

  • In light of incidents like the Broncos not having a quarterback available against the Saints three weeks ago due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the position, the Rams are taking additional precautionary measuresto prevent their own signal callers in starter Jared Goff and backup John Wolford from getting the virus, keeping both players at least six feet apart from each other when that group conducts meetings outdoors at the team facility.
  • McVay said yesterday one other measure the team has discussed as a contingency plan is having one quarterback meet virtually to keep him healthy. O'Connell said that while that makes sense, he hopes that as long as players continue to make smart decisions and follow protocols inside and outside of the facility, they'll be able to maintain their current arrangement without any adjustments.

"I just found that out two seconds ago. I'm just going to keep playing ball, let the game come to me and we'll see what happens." – Donald

  • Donald wasn't aware until it was brought up to him that he was 3.5 sacks away from setting the Rams' career sacks record.
  • Although he's on the verge of the franchise history, Donald said he's more focused on helping the team win on Sunday.

"For me personally, just coming back from injury, switching from guard, I still think I'm on an upward trajectory, getting better each game, which is a good thing." – Noteboom

  • Noteboom feels settled in at left tackle with four starts under his belt.
  • He also said the transition from guard to tackle has been "pretty easy" because he played the latter position in college, and "playing guard kind of got me more in tune with everything going on around me."

"It's just another game, but at the same time, it's my dad. I haven't seen my dad in a minute, so it will be good to see him." – Jefferson

  • Sunday's Rams-Jets game will bring father and son together. While Van goes to work for Los Angeles' offense, his father Shawn Jefferson, will be working on the opposite sideline as New York's assistant head coach of the offense and wide receivers coach.
  • Jefferson said they haven't made arrangements yet for when they'll see each other pregame, but he looks forward to their interaction nonetheless.

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