The Rams have a short week ahead of them. After facing the Broncos Saturday night, the Rams will spend two days in Los Angeles to practice and trim their roster to 75 before traveling to Minnesota to face the Vikings in their final exhibition game. Head coach Jeff Fisher knows that the team and staff will have a very busy week ahead of them.
“Everyone’s going on a short week..” Fisher said during his Sunday press conference. “but in a perfect world it would be to have a short week at home, but that’s not the case. We have to travel, we have to come back and as we mentioned, we’ll start the final cut down process. But the entire organization is getting ready to move to Thousand Oaks – we’ve already started that. So we have to set up permanently – temporarily permanently – up in Thousand Oaks for a couple of years. So we have a lot of work to do this week.”
Apart from that busy short week, the team is focused on getting healthy. The Rams were hit by the injury bug again last Saturday as both rookie wide receiver Pharoh Cooper and cornerback E.J. Gaines went down. Cooper had been performing pretty well in camp and moving up the depth chart while Gaines continues to struggle with injuries. Fisher commented on the two players’ injury situation.
“We’re going to be without (WR) Pharoh Cooper for a few weeks with a shoulder injury…” Fisher said. “I don’t know how long, but it looks like he’ll probably miss the opener, and we’ll just see how quickly he can come back from that. We also have an issue with (DB) E.J.’s (Gaines) quad strain. He may miss some time. But, that just gives some other players an opportunity.”
Speaking of receivers, it’s safe to say that Tavon Austin won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Saturday Austin signed a 4 year extension that’s worth $42 million. Austin is expected to play a very vital role in the Rams’ offense this season. Fisher explained the reasoning for signing Austin to the extension.
“It’s our anticipation of what he’s going to do..” Fisher said. “We’ve seen what he’s capable of and we’re hoping we’re going to get a lot more than what we’ve seen in the past. I know people are putting out numbers and things like that, but they forget three or four punt returns that were returned for touchdowns that were called back. He’s very, very talented with the ball in his hands. He is a problem to defends against and we hear that week after week after week.”
Austin will do exciting things with the Rams for years to come. He brings explosiveness to the Rams and is a dynamic weapon on offense and special teams. Offensive coordinator Rob Boras will find different and creative ways to get the ball into Austin’s hands and take pressure off his quarterback and Todd Gurley.
Matthew Lowry is a journalism major at Santa Monica College. You can follow him on Twitter @MattALowry