The Rams are looking towards their final game of the preseason on Thursday. Coach Sean McVay announced earlier this week that the starters will not participate. Nonetheless, the trip to Green Bay on Thursday is significant for many Rams players. From players battling for a roster spot to guys looking to carve out a bigger role, game four can be huge. It will definitely lack the Hollywood flair that typically comes with an NFL game, but football is football.
Until early this week it was unclear if the Rams starters were going to make a brief appearance or not. McVay made it clear that players such as quarterback Jared Goff will not be getting any game action on Thursday night. Goff had an up and down preseason, clearly McVay has season enough to feel that Goff is ready to go for the Colts game week one. This means Sean Mannion will start at quarterback for the Rams. Another factor in this decision may be the recent injury to Temarrick Hemingway. He was slated to play a big role until being carted off the field Saturday with a broken fibula, he will be placed on IR.
It is ultimately not a surprise that the starters will not be participating. This is especially true given the fact that many starters were healthy scratches last week against the Chargers.
Injury Update: Giants’ WR Brandon Marshall, back at practice
Running back roster battle
Justin Davis has had a strong preseason out of the backfield, but struggled with ball security early on. Aaron Green came in above him on the depth chart but has not been able to show as much due to injury. It will be interesting to see what these two bring to the table on Thursday both are likely to get a lot of touches. (You can view my extended article about this and other roster battles here.)
Reynolds looks to continue impact
Rams rookie receiver Josh Reynolds came on late in the preseason, out with an injury for week one. He proceeded to catch a touchdown in the next two games. He, along with fellow rookie Cooper Kupp has accounted for the bulk of the Rams touchdowns throughout the preseason. Reynolds has the dimensions of a big play threat and has displayed it thus far. He will look to continue his acrobatic display against the Packers in an effort to climb the depth chart.
Defense hopes to solidify
The Rams defense has struggled, especially early in games. They hope to get back on track on Saturday against a tough offensive opponent in the Packers. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will have an opportunity to experiment with schemes for the regular season which is clearly beneficial. The Rams allowed 21 first quarter points last game, but did not allow any more throughout the next three quarters. Hopefully they can continue their momentum. Be on the lookout for Rams such as Tanzel Smart and Michael Jordan (not that one) to make plays.
Getting to know the Green Bay Packers
The Packers are a high powered offense, arguably the best in the NFC. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will likely not play, which means Brett Hundley will be under center for the Packers. The Packers, much like the Rams, are 2-1 this preseason but are coming off of a loss. Which team can get on track Thursday for the regular season? Both will be missing their key players due to rest. Nonetheless, guys on the bubble will be playing for their lives in league. That is sure to make for an exciting game.
The Rams square of with the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night in a game that lacks star power but not passion. Be on the lookout for guys flying around and trying to make plays that will earn them a spot and save their careers.