EARTH CITY, Mo. -- With the regular-season opener against Arizona less than two weeks away, the Rams are in the process of making the transition to a more regular weekly routine.
As part of that transition, media is limited to watching just the first 20 minutes of practice this week. That policy figures to change back to the normal open one coach Jeff Fisher allows during the season.
In light of that, tonight’s practice report isn’t really a practice report so much as it’s an opportunity to relay information gleaned from 20 minutes of stretching and post-practice interviews.
“We have to get some work done tomorrow, particularly for our opener,” Fisher said. “There are still things that we have to get in. We need tempo, so we’ll put pads on tomorrow and then we’ll back down on Wednesday.”
Monday practice notes
The Rams had a handful of players not participating in Monday’s practice. That list included end Chris Long. Long played just 22 snaps against Denver last week before calling it a night. Asked about it Monday, Fisher said Long is “fine.”
Tight end Cory Harkey didn’t practice after going through some tests on a knee he injured against the Broncos. Fisher didn’t expound on that injury but did sound hopeful for Harkey’s return sooner than later. “We got good news on Harkey,” Fisher said. “That’s all I can say.”
Safety Darian Stewart (hamstring) also did not practice.
On the other side of the injury coin, the Rams have some key players who appear to be closing in on returns. Tight end Lance Kendricks (knee) and defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo (foot) did some work in team drills though it was limited. “It’s a little early to tell, but it was really good to see them out there with their teammates and participate in full speed drills,” Fisher said. Kendricks said that he didn’t expect to play in the preseason finale against Baltimore but fully expects to be available for the regular season opener. Assuming that’s the case, the Rams figure to be a bit short handed at tight end against the Ravens without Kendricks or Harkey and the release of Colby Prince on Monday.
Offensive tackle Joe Barksdale also returned to practice with no issues after an infected cut on his hand kept him from making the trip to Denver. I asked him about the injury and he said he suspects he suffered the cut during practice last week and didn’t notice it quickly enough to get it cleaned right away. He expects to play Thursday against Baltimore.