By Cedric Williams
Due to substandard air quality caused by local wildfires, the Los Angeles Rams were forced to cancel their regular practice plans on Wednesday. Instead, practice was held indoors and across town as the team gets ready for its highly anticipated division leader matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The Rams lead the NFC West with a 9-3 record, and will be hosting the 10-2 NFC East-leading Eagles at the Coliseum on Sunday. The team had planned to begin its work week with a standard Wednesday outdoor practice at the their facility in Thousand Oaks, but because conditions were unhealthy, the club held an indoor walk-through practice in the gymnasium at Cal Lutheran University.
Practice lasted about an hour, which was fine with head coach Sean McVay, who stated he didn’t believe the change in plays would hurt his team at all come game time on Sunday.
“This time of year, it actually served us well,” McVay said. “We got a lot of good work in, got more reps than we would’ve otherwise than when you just do your walk-through and your normal practice. Where we’re at, it actuallly worked out as a benefit to us.”
By Wednesday afternoon though, air quality at the Rams’ facility had improved significantly, so the team announced they would be practicing at their facility on Thursday. If anything changes, the contingency plan is for the club to practice at USC.
“With where the fires are now, going down a little bit further to that area, we might have to explore some alternative options,” McVay told the team’s website, “so that we can actually make sure that we get a good practice in and get out on the field and do those types of things. But, hopefully, the anticipation is to be able to use our own place.”
Four Rams leading their positions in Pro Bowl voting
With fan voting for the 2018 Pro Bowl entering its final week of balloting on Wednesday, four Rams players- RB Todd Gurley, P Johnny Hekker, K Greg Zuerlein, and return specialist Pharoh Cooper- all find themselves in the lead among NFC players at their respective positions.
The voting will continue through December 14. Then the players themselves, and the coaches as well, will cast their votes on December 15, with the final announcement of who made the team coming on December 19, live on NFL Network.
Currently, Eagles QB Carson Wentz is the overall leading vote-getter with 562,958 votes. New England’s Tom Brady (499,727 votes) is second, with Pittsburgh RB Le’Veon Bell (499,042 votes) just behind for third. LA’s Gurley and QB Jared Goff currently rank sixth and ninth, respectively, in the overall voting.