Jared Goff to get more practice time with Rams' starters
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Although Jared Goff still isn't getting the keys to the Los Angeles Rams' offense, the No. 1 draft pick will get to take it for a spin.
Goff will get increased practice time with the first-team offense during the Rams' current bye week and again next week before their game against Carolina, coach Jeff Fisher said Monday.
While Case Keenum will remain Los Angeles' starting quarterback, Goff has a chance to master the details necessary to gain Fisher's approval.
''He's going to get reps,'' Fisher said of Goff. ''I don't feel like Case needs the reps Wednesday and early next week, so Jared will get those reps, which is good.''
About 4 1/2 hours after stepping off the long flight home from London, Fisher confirmed he hasn't changed his mind about his quarterback situation with the Rams (3-4), who have lost three straight to wipe out their strong start to the season.
Keenum, who threw four interceptions in the Rams' dull 17-10 loss to the New York Giants at Twickenham Stadium, is still ahead of Goff, who got a four-year, $27.9 million contract with an $18.5 million signing bonus in June after the Rams mortgaged a large chunk of their future to trade up for him.
''Jared is going to be our starter (eventually),'' Fisher said. ''But we're going to continue with Case.''
Although a bye week seems to be an ideal time to make a change that's essentially inevitable, Fisher isn't yet ready.
Fisher declined the chance to be specific about whether he feels Goff isn't ready for the job, or whether he doesn't want to risk his prized pick's health and development in the NFL's 30th-ranked offense. The Rams have an inconsistent offensive line, a struggling ground game and receivers who aren't exactly distinguishing themselves this season.
''We won three straight games with (Keenum),'' Fisher said. ''Yes, I understand we've lost three straight. But the quarterback position, in my opinion, is not the reason why we lost the football games. ... (Keenum) threw four interceptions. You look at the actual plays, and as you guys know, interceptions - you can place blame wherever you want.''
Fisher says much of that blame resides with the Rams' receivers. Brian Quick ran an incorrect route on Keenum's fourth interception, while Kenny Britt made an earlier mistake that ruined a potential TD pass.
''When you're playing close games, you've got to do everything exactly right,'' Fisher said. ''And we didn't do that at the receiver position. Nor did we do it at the offensive line position, or the running back position for that matter.''
Fisher was noncommittal about the possibility of shaking up the receiving corps with additional playing time for rookies Pharoh Cooper, Nelson Spruce or Michael Thomas.
Cooper, a fourth-round pick, has been active for just one game this season. Spruce has yet to get on the field after the Rams kept the promising undrafted free agent on their 53-man roster out of training camp even though he was injured. Thomas is mainly contributing on special teams.
''We're going to work some of the younger guys in there (in practice),'' Fisher said. ''(Cooper and Spruce) going to get a lot of reps, so we'll see. Michael is doing a good job out there on special teams. We just have to get more production out of the whole group.''
The Rams will practice only once during their bye. After a peripatetic season that began with the franchise's return from St. Louis, the players will have several days off to recover from their London trip while revitalizing themselves for the nine weeks ahead.
Those weeks begin with a favorable November schedule. Los Angeles' next four opponents are a combined 8-18, giving the Rams a golden opportunity to get back in the playoff hunt despite their offensive woes.
But first, Fisher wants his players to get rid of their jetlag. The coach could use some sleep, too.
''This week is about resting, it's about recovering,'' Fisher said. ''It's also about getting away and coming back recharged, that's probably the most important thing.''
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