Check out photos from the Rams practice as they prepare to take on the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Rams held their final practice of the week on Friday at Cal Lutheran. L.A. will hold one more walk-thru session at its facility before playing host to the Eagles on Sunday.
Check out the top three takeaways from the session:
The Rams got some good news on the injury front as several of their players were back on field for Friday’s practice.
Free safety Lamarcus Joyner (shoulder), center John Sullivan (non-injury related), and left tackle Andrew Whitworth (non-injury related) were full participants. Each are expected to play against the Eagles on Sunday.
Middle linebacker Alec Ogletree (elbow), outside linebacker Connor Barwin (forearm), and wide receiver Robert Woods (shoulder) also returned to the field, but in a limited capacity. They will be questionable to play on Sunday.
Linebacker Mark Barron (non-injury related) was a non-participant for the third time this week, though he is still expected to play on Sunday. Joining him on the sidelines was cornerback Dominique Hatfield who is doubtful to play after tweaking his hip during practice.
Head coach Sean McVay said he “feels good” about Barron and Ogletree’s availability, noting that he will continue to evaluate them both over the next 48 hours.
“We are anticipating them ready to go and if not, then those other guys will be ready to step up,” he said.
The other options include linebackers Bryce Hager and Cory Littleton. Hager filled in for Ogletree throughout the second half of last week’s contest against the Cardinals. Littleton is a key special teams contributor, but played in Barron’s spot throughout the 2017 preseason.
McVay said he is confident in their ability to step in should Barron or Ogletree be inactive.
“They’ve gotten a lot of good work that they wouldn’t have gotten in a typical week with both of those guys, with Mark and Alec being available, so it’ll serve us well,” McVay said. “You’d like to be able to have Alec, but if not we have a lot of confidence in those guys to step up in their absence.”
For Philadelphia, the Eagles could be without one of their primary playmakers in tight end Zach Ertz. Ertz (concussion) was listed as a limited participant in the Eagles’ Friday practice. He and linebacker Joe Walker (neck) are questionable for Sunday. *WOODS COULD RETURN ON SUNDAY *
Woods returned to the practice field for the first time in almost three weeks on Friday afternoon. The USC product injured his shoulder in the Rams’ Week 11 loss to the Vikings and has remained inactive for the past two contests.
And even though it has been a while since he last took the field, Woods said he felt back to normal in practice with his shoulder operating at 100 percent.
“For sure, it has felt good for a couple of days now,” he said. “Just finally got the chance to work it out and like I said I felt strong. [But I’m] just excited to be back. Back on the field working, getting some throws with quarterback Jared Goff and getting back in the swing of things.”
When Woods first injured his shoulder back in Week 11, McVay anticipated that the wideout would not be back until next week’s game against the Seahawks. But with Woods officially listed as questionable, there is a chance he could return to game action on Sunday.
“Once they kind of gave me the timeline I knew it was going to be a little wait,” Woods said, “but I was expecting this Philadelphia game.”
And now that it’s here Woods said he feels ready to compete.
“No I feel good, I feel strong and I feel confident in it,” he said of his shoulder. “I trust these guys and the
trainers. But it’s a big game, so of course you have that drive inside you to get back and play in it. We’ll see on Sunday — I’ll just trust it.”
*ADJUSTING TO THE ELEMENTS *
The Rams had to deal with several weather issues this week, adjusting to strong winds and air quality issues stemming from the fires in Ventura County.
Although L.A. usually holds a full practice on Wednesdays, it was limited to a walk-thru session focused on the mental aspects of the game. Then on Thursday, the team was forced to deal with heavy winds that can often take a toll on practice reps.
But even with the challenges, McVay said he “feels good” about the work they did get in, calling Friday’s session “a good cap-off” to the preparation week.
“I think our players felt fresh. Certainly in an ideal world you’d like to be able to have no wind, but that is something that could happen as far as just having to deal with the elements,” McVay said. “I thought Jared threw the ball well, guys caught it pretty well. I didn’t think it affected our ability to get good reps in at practice.”
And fortunately, the Rams were presented with some ideal weather conditions on Friday, allowing them to follow through with their normal operating procedure.
“It was a good way to wrap up the week,” McVay said. “Now it’s really just about locking in, relaxing, getting good rest and taking care of yourself so that we can peak at 1:25 p.m. on Sunday.”