By Cedric Williams
After enjoying what had to be a wonderful week plus a couple of extra days off, the Los Angeles Rams were back on the practice field for the first time in an official capacity on Wednesday, with several players expressing excitement to be back at work with their teammates again.
The Rams did have a light workout on Monday, just to get everybody’s juices flowing. But Wednesday was the first time the Rams were really doing work again, and they were happy about it.
“This is what we’re paid to do and you love to do this,” linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “I think we have a good group of guys that love football (and) when you have that in the locker room, it makes it easier to come to work and get the job done.”
Having an official practice on Wednesday also meant the club released its first official injury report of the week, which listed safety Cody Davis (thigh) and wide receiver Josh Reynolds (concussion) as the only injury-related absences from practice. Davis did not practice at all, while Reynolds did participate some, but only in a limited capacity.
Several veteran players did sit out the afternoon part of practice, but that is a common practice throughout the league—to give older players extra time off when possible. Center John Sullivan, who was injured in LA’s most recent game back on Oct. 22, was one of the players granted permission to not practice Wednesday afternoon. However head coach Sean McVay said he expects Sullivan to be ready to play Sunday when the club travels east again to take on the New York Giants.
“We feel good about John,” McVay said. “we’re going to have a smart approach with players like him, (Connor Barwin), and (Andrew Whitworth) moving towards the latter half of the season because you feel so good about their ability to prepare above-the-neck, but also how we can manage them being as fresh as possible on Sunday.”
Rams could add Dunbar to roster
One player especially happy about being back at practice on Wednesday was running back Lance Dunbar, who was signed by the Rams last offseason to serve as a potential change-of-pace backup for starter Todd Gurley. But because of injury, Dunbar hasn’t been seen on the field much.
In fact, the former Dallas Cowboy barely participated in offseason workouts and missed almost all of training camp with a knee injury, which lingered into the regular season and forced the Rams to put him on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
After 8 weeks on the PUP list though, Dunbar’s knee has begun to improve—so much so that the team allowed him to begin practicing with his teammates this week. Now the Rams have up to three weeks to decide if they want to put Dunbar on the roster and let him play, put him on the season-ending injured reserve list, or possibly release him.
McVay said he would meet with the front office to determine Dunbar’s status later this week.
“It provides a great opportunity for Lance to come in, kind of serve as the role we envision in the first place,” McVay said. “We’ve got a lot of playmakers who have stayed healthy and are available. So it’s a positive problem (to have).”