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From the Podium: Sean McVay, Raheem Morris, Mike LaFleur, Aaron Donald, Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp preview Week 16 vs. Saints

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay on Monday, then defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp on Tuesday, each held press conferences with local media, discussing potential changes to Los Angeles' secondary, impressions of the Saints defense and more.

Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those conversations.

"(Ahkello Witherspoon's) groin got tight during the game, and so don't expect it to affect his status this week." – McVay

  • Despite a sustaining a groin injury late in Sunday's game against the Commanders, McVay on Monday said he expects Witherspoon to play Thursday night against the Saints.
  • Witherspoon leads the Rams with three interceptions this season.

"It is a forever who's practicing the best, it's who's playing the best. Those things will always happen." – Morris

  • Asked if he foresees more changes coming to the secondary, Morris said he likes the production the Rams have gotten at outside cornerback and that they just have to eliminate some of the big plays and mistakes that have occurred. 
  • Morris said that while those are to be expected from young players, "you'd like those guys to mature and get better and better and keep growing."

"It's installed first and second down. at whatever time it was today and a few hours later he say welcome to Thursday guys here we are in third down." – LaFleur

  • That gives fans an idea of how the condensed week of preparation impacts a team's approach when playing a second gave in five days. 
  • The good thing, as LaFleur mentioned, is that it's a level playing field with both the Rams and the Saints coming off of playing on Sunday.

"Obviously we're not immune to understanding what the implications are, but it's another football game we got to get prepared for in a short amount of time, both physically and mentally." – Stafford

  • The Rams aren't making Thursday night's game any bigger than just the next one on their schedule. 
  • Stafford said the Saints have a physical defense that plays sticky in coverage.

"I think every game's like a playoff game now, right? We ain't got much room for no losses." – Donald

  • Donald recognizes the urgency that comes with the Rams' next game, especially in terms of this stage of the season and what's at stake.
  • "Obviously going week to week, but every game is a big game," Donald said. "Can't afford to lose no more games."

"I think just the depth of our room in general, there's trust in whoever it is that's on the field, and guys know that they're going to be expected to do everything." – Kupp

  • The Rams will be getting a boost this week with the expected return of wide receiver Tutu Atwell.
  • Between what Demarcus Robinson has done, as well as Austin Trammell earlier this season and even what Tyler Johnson showed last week in practice, it's giving Los Angeles valuable depth in that position group at a critical time.

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