Rams confident of success against Giants, Beckham in London
BAGSHOT, England (AP) The Los Angeles Rams have allowed more than 400 total yards twice this season and won both games.
That's why they're not concerned by any potential challenge posed at Twickenham Stadium in southwest London on Sunday by New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
''He does some great things for their offense, and we definitely have our work cut out for us with him, but we're ready for that challenge,'' strong safety T.J. McDonald said. ''We're going to go out there and execute the plan.''
Beckham is expected to play despite missing time at practice this week with a hip injury. He's listed as probable on the injury report.
That injury, sustained in the first half of the Giants' 27-23 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, didn't seem to hamper him. He finished with 222 yards on eight catches, including a 75-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter and the deciding 66-yard touchdown reception with 1:24 remaining.
Beckham was back in the spotlight for his performance and the antics of his elaborate touchdown celebrations.
The Rams know Beckham well, having engaged in a brawl on the Giants' sideline during a game in December 2014. The melee involved nearly 20 players after Alec Ogletree hit Beckham out of bounds and drove him into the ground. Three Giants and one Ram were ejected.
''You've got to protect yourself at all times,'' Beckham said Friday when asked if he'd be on the lookout for late hits. ''You don't need stuff like that to happen, like what happened last time.
''It shouldn't be a big issue. ... I always say: `Stay ready so you don't have to get ready.'''
Players insisted all week the incident is irrelevant, and defensive backs downplayed any desire to get an edge by baiting Beckham.
''Obviously, I've seen the (antics) and everything, but that's not really my game,'' Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines said. ''I like to keep my own head out there and worry about what I need to do to make some plays for this defense.''
Los Angeles coach Jeff Fisher praised Beckham, saying he has ''a chance to go down as one of the all-time best.''
After surpassing 100 receiving yards in a game eight times last year, he's done that once this season - against the Washington Redskins in Week 3 - and didn't score a touchdown until the Giants' loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 5.
The Rams (3-3), who entered the week with the 16th-ranked pass defense at 246.2 yards per game, have allowed three players to gain more than 100 receiving yards this season. Only the Detroit Lions' Golden Tate, who had 165 yards and a touchdown last Sunday, emerged with a victory.
Los Angeles again will be without cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who has been declared out because of a high ankle sprain that also kept him from facing Detroit. Gaines and Troy Hill, who last week became the fourth starting tandem the Rams used this season, figure to continue in those roles.
One of those former starters, Coty Sensabaugh, was released on Oct. 8 and later picked up by the Giants.
''They've all grown because we have a next-man-up philosophy,'' defensive coordinator Gregg Willams said. ''We have to be able to step up and do your job in this league.''
The Giants (3-3) signed kicker Robbie Gould after Josh Brown was not allowed to travel with the team to London on Thursday. The NFL is reopening its investigation into a 2015 domestic abuse complaint made by Brown's former wife after police released journal entries and emails in which the place-kicker admitted repeatedly verbally and physically abusing her.
This week should be the return of defensive end Robert Quinn, who missed the last two games with what he said was a ''freak'' shoulder injury. He's considered questionable.
Quinn, who has averaged nearly a sack a game over the past four seasons but has just two in four games, could help the defense put more pressure on Giants quarterback Eli Manning. If Manning has less time to throw, he has less time to get the ball to Beckham and other wide receivers, which could lighten the burden on the Rams' secondary.
''I think guys are just ready to get our blood back going ... because we're definitely a little disappointed about our last couple performances,'' Quinn said. ''I think guys are just a little antsy and, like I said, ready to prove that we're a lot better than we showed these last two weeks.''
DUKE'S HOME: The Giants have made the Duke of Northumberland's ancestral home their base of operations for their three-day stay in London. The 200-acre (80-hectare) Syon Park in suburban southwest London features extensive gardens along the banks of the Thames, a castle-style residence with statue-lined halls and gilded ceilings, a spa hotel, a trout fishery and, until Sunday, a makeshift football field. ... Several Giants showed they know little about London, mostly failing in a team video to identify Big Ben, the London Eye, Abbey Road and Tower Bridge. All managed to recognize Twickenham Stadium as the place they're playing - except Rashad Jennings, who called it Wembley.
LAST TIME IN LONDON: The Giants last played here in the first NFL game on Oct. 28, 2007, a 13-10 victory against the winless Miami Dolphins. It wasn't pretty as New York prevailed amid rain, mud, seven fumbles and a chorus of boos. The NFL overseas project survived that wretched start to achieve nearly a decade straight of sold-out successes at Wembley Stadium, the home of English soccer. The game Sunday will be the 16th in London, the second of three this season. It's the first held at Twickenham Stadium, home of England's rugby team.
NOTES: DT Michael Brockers (thigh) has also been ruled out, while LG Jamon Brown (hand) and WR Nelson Spruce (calf) are considered doubtful. ... Cornerback Dwayne Gratz is expected to play in his fifth game in London and second this season. Drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012, he was cut and claimed off waivers by the Rams on Oct. 11. ''I haven't been the tour guide,'' he said. ''I should be. I've got a lot of experience here.''
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