IRVINE, Calif. – If training camp observers were looking for a sign Terrell Burgess' ankle was healthy after last year's season-ending injury in Week 7, they got it on the first day.
First, the second-year safety intercepted quarterback John Wolford's pass and returned it for a touchdown. Later on in team drills, he broke up a pass by quarterback Matthew Stafford over the middle intended for wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
"It's still a work in progress, but I'm excited to be back out here," Burgess said Tuesday. "Obviously it was a long offseason, but it feels good, feels way better."
Burgess began his rookie season as a special teams contributor, then started receiving defensive snaps alongside those special teams reps starting in Week 3. That increased participation in Los Angeles' secondary made his season-ending ankle injury all the more unfortunate: His 12 defensive snaps and 16 specials snaps were his second-most combined snaps in a single game for him behind the 19 he received in each phase in Week 4 against the Giants.
"I think it's motivating because, as much as it sucks to get hurt, I think I went out the best way I could in that case, and I'm excited to be able to get back out there and go with the team," Burgess said.
At full strength, Burgess will be a valuable piece to the Rams' defense, which will be retaining the same system as last year while mixing in new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris' wrinkles. Given Burgess played every position in Utah's secondary in college, he could fit into Los Angeles' plans at either star – the hybrid nickel defensive back position – or safety, his listed position.
That versatility could also potentially play an important role in how the Rams deploy All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, according to Rams head coach Sean McVay.
"If he's able to have that versatile skill set that we anticipate, it makes it a little bit less predictable with what you want to do with Jalen," McVay said.
For Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, what Burgess showed on Day 1 of camp reinforced what he was seeing out of him last year as well as Burgess' potential.
"We saw what he was doing last year when he was healthy, when he was playing," Donald said on July 28. "To see him back healthy again, out there doing the same things he was doing before he got injured, I'm excited about it. He's going to continue to get better. He's still a young guy with a lot of potential. He's hungry."
Take a look at the best shots from the Los Angeles Rams Training Camp practice No. 10 presented by UNIFY Financial Credit Union.