NFL Wire News

Rams flip sides with their starting guards

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The Sports Xchange

EARTH CITY, Mo. — With Garrett Reynolds replacing the injured Rodger Saffold, the St. Louis Rams flipped Jamon Brown back to right guard, where he had been throughout OTAs and training camp.

Saffold first injured his shoulder playing left guard in the preseason opener against Oakland. During the remaining preseason games, Reynolds was at left guard. However, when Saffold returned for the season opener, he went to right guard with Reynolds going to the left side.

When Saffold left the Green Bay game, Reynolds took his spot at right guard, but the bye last week, the switch was made.

Brown admitted moving back and forth can be “confusing,” but added, “It’s not too bad. I played both sides in college (at tackle) and it’s pretty much the same. I have a job to do and will play whatever side the coaches want.”

Despite the struggles the unit had in pass protection against the Packers, Brown said of the line, “We’ve made huge strides and we will continue to make huge strides.”

–In the days prior to the Week 6 game against Green Bay, rookie running back Todd Gurley practiced without his knee brace, but wore it during the game. At one point, he probably he won’t wear it, but that day doesn’t appear to be close at hand.

Said head coach Jeff Fisher, “He tore his ACL less than a year ago or right about a year ago. It would make sense to protect him, to protect his knee. That’s why he’s wearing it. The ACL, I mean you look around the league and look over different players, it takes more than just a year to come back. Todd’s a year out; that’s why I say he’s not 100 percent. He’s going to continue to get better.”

Gurley had 30 rushing attempts against Green Bay in Week 5, and was asked if he realized he had the ball that much. He admitted to peeking at the scoreboard about halfway through the fourth quarter and saw he had 25 attempts at that point.

He said smiling, “I saw that and all of a sudden I felt tired. From now on, I’m going to have to try not to jinx myself.”

–The rumor mill was swirling with talk that the Rams were shopping tight end Jared Cook with the trading deadline of Nov. 3 approaching. Cook is the team’s second-leading receiver with 15 catches for 169 yards (11.3-yard average) and no touchdowns.

Fueling the talk is that Cook is highly paid with salaries of $7 million this year and in 2016 and $7.1 million in 2017. The Rams re-signed tight end Lance Kendricks in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, and Cory Harkey is scheduled to become unrestricted in March.

Cook has excelled at times as a receiver, but has been inconsistent and drops have been an issue.

When asked about the speculation, Fisher tried to squash it, which is all he could do. Even if true, he obviously wasn’t going to admit it.

He said, “We take calls all of the time. People call. People have injuries. People have interest. That happens all of the time. I have no interest in trading Jared. He’s a big part of our offense. I don’t know where that originated from or came from. I clearly wasn’t aware of it. Jared’s fine. He’s a big part of this. Those kind of things happen. People call. He’s not the only person that people called us about last week. There’s injuries. We’re not to the trading deadline. People have interest in players. This day and age they’ve got more information. If they sense that some players that you have may fit their system, they’re going to call. You either say yes or no.”

After Tuesday’s practice, Cook told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “There’s nothing to make out of it. I’m here and that’s the end of it.”

Cook admitted he was told about the rumors, but didn’t bother talking t the Rams or his agent. He said, “Not really. Because if it was something I needed to know, they would’ve told me. There’s a lot of people that put things out there that really isn’t credible – a lot of time, everywhere around the world. It’s your choice to pay attention to it. It’s your choice to take in what they’re saying, or it’s your choice to ignore.

“The Rams didn’t call me. My agent didn’t call me. So what is there to worry about? Why am I letting somebody get in my head about something that’s nonexistent?”

Meanwhile, when asked about hoping for more production from Cook, Fisher once again turned the question in the direction of the Browns. He said, “I’d like to see more production out of everybody on offense. I’d like to see more production out of the offense in general. As we’ve talked about in terms of first downs and third-down efficiency and scoring touchdowns. Those are the kind of things that were the points of emphasis here this off week. The hard part about what we’re going into this week is we’re going into a really good defensive scheme that challenges you. Their rank statistically at 30th in the league is very, very misleading. This is a good defensive football team.”

As for issues with the offense, Cook said, “It’s all about growing. We’ve got a new quarterback, new offensive system. It just takes time to develop the chemistry that you really need.”

He also said he’s being asked to block more as part of new offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti’s approach.

“Right now, I’m comfortable with Cig’s offense,” he said. “It’s got me playing a little bit different role, which I’m happy to play. It’s making me become a complete tight end overall, which is improving my game. So I have nothing to complain about. It’s different but that’s what my job entails. I’m not a very selfish person. I just come to work doing my job and do what they ask me to. So if they ask me to block a little bit more, that’s what I’m here to do.”

–Fisher also addressed rumors that he might be a candidate for the vacant head coaching job at USC. There have been rumblings because Fisher grew up in southern California and played at USC. The possibility was even raised by Lee Corso on ESPN last Saturday. Asked specifically if he saw Corso’s comments, Fisher said, “I didn’t see it because I was in a place where there was no TV, which was a good thing. Yeah, I’ve heard things. But no, I appreciate what anybody else is saying out there. But I made a commitment to (owner) Stan (Kroenke) here, and I’m going to finish, keep that commitment.”

Notes: Defensive end Chris Long, who suffered an injury to his right knee in Week 5 against Green Bay, did not practice Wednesday and will likely miss a few weeks. Long was on crutches in the locker room while also wearing a brace that went nearly the entire length of his leg. … Running back Tre Mason did not practice Wednesday because of a left ankle injury suffered in the Week 5 game against Green Bay. After practice, Mason was walking around with the lower part of his leg wrapped. His status for this week is unknown. … Wide receiver Tavon Austin (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, but his status for this week’s game in unknown.

Defensive end Robert Quinn (knee) did not practice Wednesday, and his status for Sunday’s game against Cleveland is unknown. Quinn was at practice standing on the sideline. … Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (concussion) was limited in practice Wednesday. The fact he was limited might be an indication that he is progressing through the NFL’s concussion protocol.


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