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Practice Report 7/28: Veterans Rest, Greg Zuerlein Kicks


Just as head coach Sean McVay said on Friday, a handful of veteran Rams did not practice on Saturday. Veteran offensive linemen took the day off, including tackle Andrew Whitworth, guard Rodger Saffold III, and center John Sullivan. Running back Todd Gurley, corner Aqib Talib, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and defensive lineman Michael Brockers round out other noteworthy resters.

The handful of Rams who took Day 3 off provided an extended practice opportunity for several younger Rams, including many of the options to replace guard Jamon Brown during his two-game suspension to start the season.

Check out some of the best shots from Day 3 of 2018 Rams Training Camp.

Offensive linemen Joseph Noteboom and Jamil Demby, as well as rookie center Brian Allen received more reps in Saturday's practice (alongside Brown) and blocked well for what seemed like extended work on the running game with backup running back Malcom Brown getting several carries.


Speaking of players stepping up, McVay complimented cornerback Sam Shields' play following practice.

Shields, who missed 15 games in 2016 and committed the entire 2017 season to work on his health, has been in on several bang-bang plays in the first three days of training camp. Fellow cornerback Marcus Peters noticed Shields' effort.

"Ball-Skills Shields, man — cat-like movements," Peters said on Saturday. "He's an amazing ball player man. He missed some time — out due to injuries — but when he was playing he was making his plays. He's an amazing nickel up here and an amazing outside guy with Green Bay when he was with them, so he is just getting back into the grooves and everything. You can see why he was making those plays, that's why we call him 'Ball-Skills Shields'."


Peters also showed appreciation for defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and his high speed defense.

"Coach Wade — it's amazing — he's allowing for us to go play fast and physical and you know, like I said, we are just getting ready, amping up all the tools — getting ready to get to it," Peters said.

Second-year cornerback out of Tulane Taurean Nixon showed flashes of impressive coverage throughout Saturday's practice as well, getting physical with wideouts and forcing quarterbacks Sean Mannion and Brandon Allen to throw into tighter windows.


One veteran who did practice on Saturday was kicker Greg Zuerlein. Zuerlein kicked field goals in front of fans (and into the fans) for the first time this training camp. He drilled four of his attempts, one of them good from 45 yards.

McVay said Zuerlein "looked like the old Greg" following practice. McVay then praised Zuerlein's return to football.

"You feel good for Greg, just because what a special person he is and then the way that he's rehabbing, gotten himself back healthy, feeling good. I don't think anybody really realizes, or myself included, how much pain he was really fighting through and the production that he was able to have last year," McVay said.


Zuerlein returns to the field this season, after injuring his back in Week 15 last season, forcing him to miss the final two games of the season as well as the postseason matchup against the Falcons.

Zuerlein led the league in scoring last season, hitting 38-of-40 field goal attempts.