THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- A recap of Tuesday’s practice at Rams training camp:
PLAYER OF THE DAY
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay had no update on running back Darrell Henderson, who suffered a mild hamstring strain during last week’s scrimmage.
However, with Henderson out, undrafted rookie Xavier Jones got more reps with the second group, and he took advantage of it.
The SMU product showed quickness and an ability separate at the top his route during one-on-one passing drills.
And during team drills, Jones displayed excellent vision and good burst through the hole for decent gains.
An NFL Scouting Combine snub, at 5-11 and 208 pounds, Jones totaled 1,276 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns his final season for the Mustangs.
Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers worked with the starters, while Jones and John Kelly worked with the second group.
“He’s doing a great job,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said about Jones. “He got some more action in the scrimmage, and he’s getting some more opportunities in some of these one-on-one settings that were trying to create in practice. Thomas (running back coach Thomas Brown) has done an excellent job of bringing him along.
“He’s a slasher. He has a nice way about being able to work edges on people, level runs off. We’ve been very pleased with him.”
PLAY OF THE DAY
The defense ruled the day again on Tuesday, making three straight interceptions to stall drives by the offense during sudden change situations at the end of practice.
Safety Nick Scott and cornerback Tyrique McGhee both made good plays on the ball for takeaways, but the most athletic play came from cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Down in the end zone Ramsey rose up with one hand and snatched the ball away from rookie Van Jefferson on a pass thrown by Jared Goff.
Ramsey then took the ball other way and would have scored had receiver Cooper Kupp not had the angle on him down the sideline.
“He’s been outstanding,” McVay said about Ramsey. “You talk about really raising his game. I thought I had an appreciation with the way he played, just watching him from afar. But now really getting a glimpse with the amount of competitive work that we’re able to get in these training settings, he’s been even better than I thought.
“He’s had a dominant training camp. And he’s making a lot of plays.”
MATCHUP OF THE DAY
At the end of practice, McVay had ones vs. ones going head up in a situational, 2-minute drill at the end of practice -- the latest example of the head coach attempting to generate more intensity during training camp.
“We want to try and create stressful atmospheres because we know that’s what the games are on Sundays, or whenever we’re playing,” McVay said. “So as many times as we can create those competitive, game-like situations that force you to think in real time, understand the magnitude of what each situation entails and how to be approach it offensively, defensively or on special teams is something we’re always trying to create.”
The Rams made it official today, announcing that fans will not be allowed in the stands for the team’s season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 13, the first game to be played in the new $5 billion facility.
McVay told players at the end of practice, letting them know that they are still figuring out how to handle the situation for their family and friends.
“It’s a bummer,” McVay said. “But obviously, these are kind of the times we are living in. I’m just excited about the opportunity to be able to play there, and it was a great experience last week. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get fans in there sooner rather than later, but it’s for the right reasons, being safe and being smart. It’s part of the circumstances that we’re dealing with.”
Rams defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day said it’s unfortunate fans won’t be in attendance, but he doesn’t need the crowd noise for motivation.
“Listen man, I’m a sixth-round pick from Rutgers University,” he said. “A lot of people didn’t think I was going to be here, and that’s all the motivation I have every day, to get me ready to go play a game.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“I don’t know if you all saw the video, but it was real horrific. And I just want to send my thoughts and prayers to him, his family and his kids. For his kids to see that, I hope that it does not influence them in a negative way.” – Rams defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, commenting on Jacob Blake, a Black man shot seven times by Kenosha, Wisconsin police on Sunday. Blake was paralyzed from the waist down and remains in serious condition in the hospital.