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Rams not worried about Jared Goff

Los Angeles remains confident about the progress that their rookie quarterback has made in his first three NFL starts.

During the Los Angeles Rams' practice on Wednesday, there was one noticeable absentee with rookie quarterback Jared Goff being off the field.

Head coach Jeff Fisher revealed following practice that the 22-year-old had been to the team meeting earlier in the day but was held away from the field of play because of an illness. 

“Jared came in the building early this morning and he wasn’t feeling well," Fisher said. "So, we treated him, he participated in the meetings, through install and everything, and just was not feeling well. We felt it was best to send him home. He’ll be back in the morning, I’m sure.”

With the Rams' typically having Thursdays off during the week of preparations leading up to their on Sunday games, it provides Goff a little more time to recuperate from the cold that he has. Fisher didn't voice much concern about the illness being a setback in any manner for the rookie despite Case Keenum taking reps with the first team on Wednesday. 

“It doesn’t set him back at all," Fisher said. "Not at all, I’m not concerned about it. (QB) Case (Keenum) did a great job getting the offense ready today.”

Los Angeles hasn't exactly taken off offensively with Goff now under center ranking last in the league in total offense averaging just 284 yards while producing a league-worst 15.0 points per game. In his first three starts, the Rams have actually fallen well below those numbers accumulating just 212 yards and 13.6 points per game. 

Rams offensive coordinator Rob Boras believes much of these struggles can be linked to the team's inability to convert first downs currently last in the league with just 189, which averages out to just 15.7 per game while also holding the NFL's worst third down conversion rate (32.5).

This was on full display in the 26-10 loss to the New England Patriots recording just seven first downs, including only one first down on 18 total offensive plays for 25 yards in the first half. The Rams also converted just one of 12 third down opportunities through the entire game. 

"We’re very inconsistent. Obviously, we understand the struggles. What’s happening right now is we’re not getting a whole lot of plays," Boras said. "It’s easy to point a finger, and none of us are about that. We all need to coach better. We all need to play better, and prepare better. That’s what our focus has been right now. The big word we’ve talked about is how are we going to respond. We’re all searching for answers, and that’s what this league is about. This is a man’s league, and we’re going to man-up and keep preparing, and getting ready to beat a really good team with Atlanta.”

That said, Boras once again voiced much confidence that the rookie quarterback can bounce back after his disappointing performance against the Patriots completing just 14 of 32 passes for 161 yards, and throwing a pair of interceptions. 

"He’s handled all the different situations very well and he’s had a lot of different situations come up," Boras said. "We had to throw the ball a lot more than we’d want, which puts the burden on him, our receivers, and then ultimately the offensive line to protect. When they know you’re going to pass they keep coming after us – it can expose not only him, but all of us. But he’s handled all the pressures, he’s handling things well. He probably admit he got a little rattled later in the game. But again, it’s proven that it’s not too big for him at all"

There is also one aspect of Goff's game that has continued to catch the coaching staff's attention, which has them more encouraged about his development moving along over the remainder of the 2016 season. 

"His ability to extend plays when the pocket collapses on him and that’s something across the league when you see the quarterbacks – elite quarterbacks in the league – when they extend plays and make plays off schedule, whether it’s (Packers QB) Aaron Rogers or other quarterbacks across the league," Boras said. "Jared (Goff) has shown that ability and that’s going to be huge for us moving forward.”

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