There were some encouraging signs for the Rams' rookie quarterback on Tuesday afternoon as he went through a full day of practice but still remains in the midst of the concussion protocol. However, interim head coach John Fassel indicated that team believes the 22-year-old will be able to take the field on Christmas Eve.
“Yeah, he practiced full today and he has a few more things in the (concussion) protocol," Fassel said. "But we anticipate having him, yes.”
Goff was put into the concussion protocol after suffering a brutal hit from Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman on a 15-yard scramble late in the fourth quarter of last Thursday's 24-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The result of the play immediately led to the Rams taking him out of the game to conduct the mandatory concussion protocol because of the vicious blow that occurred near his head/neck area.
With Goff appearing to be headed toward playing on Saturday night, Fassel is hoping that the 2016 first overall pick can use the last two games of the season as means of gaining more valuable experience on the field.
“I think it’s real important," Fassel said. "To continue getting the experience and, ideally, build something positive going into the offseason that might carry over into next season. I think it’ll be real important.”
That said, he has also entertained the possibility of playing some of the players who haven't played much this season. This includes second-year quarterback Sean Mannion, who has made just one appearance up to this point in his career.
“We’ve talked about tinkering with the lineup to see if we can get a spark, or giving a guy that hasn’t played a lot an opportunity to see what he can do – such as (QB) Sean (Mannion), should Jared not have been able to go, or not be able to go," Fassel said. "Throw Sean in there and see what he could do, a couple young receivers, a couple new DBs.”
Fassel also added that Mannion got much of the work as the backup in practice on Tuesday and has already talked to Case Keenum about possibly moving down to the third string spot against the 49ers.
“I talked to him about the potential of it two days ago," Fassel said. "Case is a true pro, he said, ‘I don’t love it, but I understand that if that happens, I get it.’ Really, that was it. I just told him this is what we were possibly thinking, he said, ‘I understand,’ and that was really the extent of it.”