Check out photos of the Los Angeles Rams practice as the team prepares to take on the Minnesota Vikings.
The Rams will be on the road this weekend travelling to the Midwest to take on the NFC North-leading Vikings. L.A. held its last practice of the week at Cal Lutheran on Friday morning and will hold a final walk-thru session on Saturday in Minnesota.
Check out the top three takeaways from Friday:
Los Angeles released its final injury report of the week after practice. Though the list has been longer than usual over the past few days, there was some significant improvement on Friday.
Running back Malcolm Brown (knee) is the only Rams player who will be out in Week 11. Tight end Derek Carrier (hamstring) and cornerback Troy Hill (hamstring) are questionable for Sunday's contest.
Aside from those three, outside linebacker Connor Barwin, safety Lamarcus Joyner (hip), and outside linebacker Matt Longacre (back) were all back to full participation in practice and are expected to play on Sunday.
In Minnesota, the Vikings will be without safety Andrew Sendejo (groin/hamstring) and their starting right tackle Mike Remmers (concussion.) Defensive end Everson Griffen (foot) and Brian Robison (back) are questionable for Sunday's contest.
But Griffen told the Star Tribune on Thursday that he was "feeling great," saying, "I'll be playing on Sunday for sure."**
PREPPING FOR THE NOISE
L.A. will be in unfamiliar territory on Sunday, playing at U.S. Bank Stadium for the first time in the regular season. The venue has only been in existence for the past two years, but it is already making a name for itself as one of the loudest stadiums in the league.
Plus, because temperatures are expected to reach just 39 degrees this weekend, many expect the glass doors overhead to remain closed, heightening the noise level inside.
"They do a great job utilizing that home-field advantage [and] their fans do a great job," head coach Sean McVay said. "It's a great atmosphere and it's going to be a very challenging environment, especially for us offensively, but one that hopefully we'll be able to handle with poise and concentration."
And to top it all off, according to www.Vikings.com, head coach Mike Zimmer has been encouraging Minnesota fans to bring their best shrieks, screams and claps to Sunday's contest in an effort to disrupt the high-rolling Rams offense. "Okay, we're going to need our crowd here nice and loud here on Sunday," Zimmer said on Friday. "They're no huddle, they get on the ball, [and] snap it. Got to try and confuse them as much as possible."
In order to prepare for one of the loudest stadiums that the Rams will play at this season, right guard Jamon Brown says the staff has been blasting music at practice throughout the week.
"He's got the big speakers out there playing the music," Brown said. "We've been trying to work as an offense, just cranking it up as loud as humanly possible, to simulate what it is going to be like and how we need to operate through the noise."
Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur is hopeful that by "making it a little bit harder for our players" to operate at practice, "then you have [more] confidence they will be able to go out on Sunday and get it done as well." But McVay did tell reporters that the team used loud music instead of just white noise in an effort to make practices tolerable.
"I've been around places where you crank up just the fake noise and that's so annoying," he said. "Let's go with some music and at least the players enjoy that a little bit more. But I don't think you can every truly mimic a situation like we're getting ready to go into and we know it's going to be a highly energized stadium because of the way that they're playing."
STAYING FOCUSED ON THE PRESENT**
At 7-2, the Rams are off to an impressive start to their season. And with just seven games left, many outside of the club are beginning to look towards the franchise's promising postseason aspirations.
This weekend will given them even more to look forward to as L.A. will take the field in the same stadium set to hold Super Bowl LII in February. And although McVay has instilled a "one game at a time" mentality throughout the locker room, some players can't help but to let their minds wander, even for just a second.
"For sure, you always think about those things that could happen if you were to play in the Super Bowl, the Super Bowl being in Minnesota," Brown said. "But you let your mind stay there for a little while and then you come back to reality and remind yourself it's Week 11. We have to focus on this week [because] each one gets bigger from there."
Middle linebacker Alec Ogletree echoed Brown's point, noting that while it is important to strive for success, the team must do so by focusing on the game at hand.
"It's one week at a time," he said with a laugh. "We're not guaranteed to be in the playoffs or the Super Bowl, the only thing we're guaranteed is to play Minnesota this week and that's our main focus. We'll keep focusing on it because that's what's been working for us and we can't look at it any differently this week."