THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay spoke with reporters on a conference call Tuesday afternoon, discussing WR Brandin Cooks being in concussion protocol, LB Clay Matthews' progress ahead of his projected return and what CB Aqib Talib meant to the team, among other topics. TheRams.com compiled a quick notebook expanding on each of the three topics below.
Cooks "feeling good"
WR Brandin Cooks was placed in concussion protocol after sustaining a helmet to helmet hit on the third play of Sunday's game against the Bengals in London. As of Tuesday afternoon, Cooks is "feeling good," according to McVay.
"He's very aware of what's going on and he can talk about what occurred pre-concussion," McVay said.
Cooks also sustained a concussion in Week 5 against Seattle, which means the one against the Bengals gave him his second this month. The team is in the process of gathering more information by sending Cooks to a specialist in Pittsburgh and from there, they will be taking things a day at a time, per McVay.
"Anytime that you have something like this occur, you want to consider the human being first and foremost, and that's what we are going to do, take our time. No question, it will be something that we are going to be smart with," McVay said. "I think being able to get some answers, hear some other opinions on what's going on, and other cases that have been like this will give us some clarity to hopefully, make the best decision for Brandin Cooks the person and the football player."
Talib thanked for positive impact during Rams tenure
The Rams traded CB Aqib Talib and an undisclosed draft pick to the Dolphins in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick on Tuesday. Though he only played 13 regular season games for Los Angeles, he left a lasting impact on its locker room.
"Aqib has meant a whole lot. He's meant a whole lot to our team," McVay said. "I think just the confidence, the swagger, the veteran leadership that he's brought – he's been, really, a big part of what's gone on since he got here and he's been nothing but positive since he got here. Like I've said, I think he's a Hall of Fame player."
Moves like this are always made in the best interest of the team both in the short-term and long-term, according to McVay. Circumstances regarding the defense in recent weeks played a part in the decision as well.
"Sometimes … (it) needs to be done," McVay said. "But again, like I said, I can't say anything but great things about the human and what he's meant to our locker room, the positives he's brought to this team and what he's meant to us the last year and a half."
Matthews "on track" to return after bye week
McVay has previously said the most realistic scenario for LB Clay Matthews returning would be after the bye week. Based on McVay's comments Tuesday, that still looks like it will be the case.
"He's feeling good," McVay said. "I really just think it's going to be a matter of how quickly and how comfortable does he feel as far as, 'All right, I'm ready to go,' and play full contact…in the absence of some of that restrictive protection that he's had. He's on track for that."
Matthews, who had his jaw wired shut as part of the recovery process, has had those materials removed. Once Week 10 arrives, McVay said they will be taking things day by day with Matthews.