ST. LOUIS (AP) When the Rams pulled off their blockbuster trade of Sam Bradford to the Eagles for Nick Foles back in the offseason, they also sent a seventh-round pick to the Texans to re-acquire Case Keenum.
On Tuesday, Rams coach Jeff Fisher announced that Keenum has ''locked up'' the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Foles.
''He just has a good feel for offense and timing and release and is a natural athlete,'' Fisher said. ''Since the trade he's been able to sit here and really, really grasp the offense, so he has a good feel for what we're doing.''
Keenum, who started 10 games over the past two seasons for the Texans, has impressed the Rams throughout training camp and in the three preseason games.
He has completed 20 of 34 passes for 255 yards with one touchdown and a QB rating of 92.2.
''I felt pretty good,'' Keenum said. ''Obviously there's things you want back and decisions you make that you learn from, but I feel like overall we've moved the ball fairly well and done some good things and grown. We've gotten better each week I feel like.''
A year ago, Keenum was in training camp with the Texans and competing for a spot on Houston's roster after starting eight games the previous season. Then the Texans traded for Ryan Mallett from the Patriots and released Keenum, who was claimed by the Rams.
In St. Louis, Keenum joined a quarterback group that included Shaun Hill and Austin Davis following the season-ending injury to Bradford. He served as the backup to Davis for a Week 2 win at Tampa Bay, but did not appear in the game. He was later released by the Rams, but signed to the practice squad.
When the Texans' quarterbacks struggled with injuries late in the season, they signed Keenum off the practice squad and started him the final two weeks. He then led Houston to wins over the Ravens and Jaguars, throwing for 435 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Keenum said he was ''pleasantly surprised'' when the Rams expressed interest in bringing him back to St. Louis this offseason.
While he couldn't pass up the opportunity to go back to Houston late in the 2014 season, he said he enjoyed his time with the Rams.
Now he's back and has established himself as the No. 2 guy behind Foles. He's no longer fighting for a job. Now he's just preparing himself to be ready if needed.
''Being a starting quarterback is very tough but being a backup quarterback in that you have to be ready to go at any time with virtually no reps throughout the week is very tough,'' Keenum said.
''It's a mental strain. It's during the game being warm, being ready to go at any time. When the quarterback gets hit you're always over there with one hand on your helmet not knowing what's going on. It's a tough position, but I like it.''
NOTES: The Rams released DT Doug Worthington and LB Keshaun Malone on Tuesday to get down to the 75-player limit. ... OL Rodger Saffold (shoulder) returned to do limited work in practice. He said he will be playing right guard when he returns to the lineup after working at left guard throughout training camp.
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