ST. LOUIS (AP) Back in August, the St. Louis Rams invited three high school teams impacted by protests and rioting in Ferguson to practice on their fields.
''Out of a really tough situation that was something awesome, having those kids here,'' Rams defensive end Chris Long said. ''They were a blessing to me personally. Sometimes during camp you just kind of get caught up in going to work every day and honing your craft.
''Those kids, with everything that's going on in their community they really livened up my team. It was really the highlight of my camp, I can honestly say that. I hadn't smiled like that all camp.''
The three high schools - McCluer, McCluer North and McCluer South-Berkeley - watched the Rams practice before taking the field for their own practices in August. At one point, coach Jeff Fisher brought the North players and coaches to one of the end zones to simulate crowd noise.
The Rams also gave them tickets to their preseason game against Green Bay.
This week, Fisher thought back to those young players he met in August.
''We discussed it this morning,'' Fisher said. ''It's just such a difficult situation. We had an opportunity to get involved in August with the three football teams and the organization has done some other things.
''Hopefully, as soon as things settle down then we'll get back involved. As we talked as a group it's our community, it's their neighbors. Everybody cares deeply about what's going on and hopes things can get settled as soon as possible.''