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Rams P Johnny Hekker Provides Insight on Position Battle With Corey Bojorquez

Rams punter Johnny Hekker is grateful to be back with the Rams for another season.

The Los Angeles Rams were forced to make a strenuous roster decision on Tuesday regarding their punter for the 2021 season.

The battle between longtime Rams punter Johnny Hekker and fourth-year player Corey Bojorquez came to a final determination and ultimately it's Hekker who will remain.

"Thankful to be back," Hekker said when greeting the media at his Thursday availability.

Hekker was initially on the books to be the highest-paid punter in the NFL with a cap hit of $4.9 million. With his financial ties combined with a talented youngster nipping at his heels, even Hekker himself said he had wondered if the writing was on the wall regarding his future in Los Angeles.

"When I saw his (Bojorquez) success I was very happy for him but on the other hand I saw a little bit of writing on the wall that the team might go with this guy and I could be having to find a new home real soon," Hekker said.

While Bojorquez flashed his big leg in the preseason, connecting on a 70-yard punt in his final audition against the Denver Broncos, Hekker remained at home battling with COVID-19. Hekker was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Aug. 21, forcing him to miss the final two preseason games.

"It was tough sitting at home in such a competitive part of the season and competitive environment Corey and I were in," Hekker said. "It was difficult but I'm thankful for the training staff here."

"There were no symptoms that got out of hand, nothing felt like we were in real danger. Had some body aches, a little cough and no taste and smell. Other than that, really thankful and glad to be on the other side now."

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Hekker said he began watching the Rams preseason finale with his wife at home and as supportive as he's been for Bojorquez, he did illustrate how he felt on edge regarding his status with the team. 

Hekker turned the television to Ted Lasso in order to get his emotions back, he added. Hekker also reached out to those that remain closest to him, calling family and friends to get his head right. 

Ultimately, Hekker reiterated how grateful he is to be a part of the Rams organization for his 10th season. It's been a rocky month of August for the Rams' longest-tenured player but Hekker is already looking ahead to Week 1, saying he's excited to see the fans inside SoFi stadium.

Hekker also restructured his contract, a move that made it more appealing for the Rams to retain him.

The Rams will play their first game on Sunday Night Football on Sept. 12 at 5:30 p.m. PT.

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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel.