When cornerback Marcus Peters left the field during the Week 3 matchup with the Chargers, it sure looked like he was going to miss significant time.
But as the worst-case-scenario initial fears dwindled down to a calf strain, there was some optimism that Peters might be able to play a bit against the Vikings — despite the quick turnaround. But Peters did much better than that, playing every single defensive snap in Los Angeles' 38-31 victory.
It wasn't the easiest feat to accomplish, but playing in that game was highly important to Peters.
"I wanted to feel good and coach wanted me to feel good, and I felt good, so I played," Peters said.
The corner acknowledged there was some doubt that he'd be able to go after he left the game in Week 3.
"Other than that, I just trusted what [head trainer] Reggie [Scott] and the training staff was going to do to me, trusting what coach wanted from me — he wanted me to come in and get treatment and see if I wanted to feel good to play," Peters said. "I felt good and I was ready to play."
Safety John Johnson said he had a lot of respect for the way Peters got himself in position to play last Thursday.
"That shows you the accountability. It shows a lot about him," Johnson said. "He probably shouldn't have played. He could've easily sat out, so I tip my hat off to him. And that shows how strong this bond is between us."
Check out photos of the Rams facing the Seattle Seahawks throughout the years.
Not only was Peters playing through an injury, but he was also lining up opposite a new starting corner. With Aqib Talib on injured reserve after suffering a significant ankle injury, Sam Shields started in his place. Plus, reserve corner Troy Hill appears to be slated to receive more snaps in the defensive backfield.
"With both of those guys, both of those guys can make plays, especially with Sam," Peters said. "We've seen him play early in his career with Green Bay. I've seen Troy play a lot in college, I've seen him in the playoffs and stuff against the Falcons — he's ready to play ball. It's just next man up, play ball."
Los Angeles will face another significant test for the secondary this week in quarterback Russell Wilson and Seattle's offense. While the Rams have had success on Wilson in the past, there are many players now on the club who have not faced Wilson before — including Peters. He's looking forward to going against the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
"You respect his game, you respect what he's done in the past — a Super Bowl winning champ — but you just go play the game," Peters said.
The obvious element of Wilson's game that makes him more difficult to defend in the way he can make plays with his legs. As defensive coordinator Wade Phillips put it, Wilson "makes plays out of nothing. He makes plays that nobody else makes."
"Not many quarterbacks can do that and he can also — he can beat you running with it or throwing it," Phillips continued. "He'll run for first downs to keep plays and then run around enough and find somebody open. You have to cover them for a long time, with him, and that makes it hard."
So how does the approach change for Los Angeles' secondary?
"I mean it's football. It's just a job that we have to do," Peters said. "We just go out there and respect his game, we go out there and play our game. We've got a good d-line, who we know can keep him under control, in the pocket — which we want to do.
"They make their plays, and we'll make ours, and hopefully we can get off the field and get offense the ball to make plays."