St. Louis Rams – Blog

Wrapping Up Baltimore

Posted by nickwagoner on August 31, 2012 – 6:25 PM

– Because of the nature of today, this week’s edition of “Wrapping Up” will be short and sweet with a quick look back at last night’s win against the Ravens.

– Coach Jeff Fisher is going to address the media and the team’s cut down to the final 53 players at 5 p.m. today. Most of the attention will be on that when the time comes.

– In the meantime, here’s a quick recap from last night’s 31-17 win in the preseason finale against the Ravens.

– DTs Michael Brockers and Matt Conrath both suffered some sort of lower body injuries. The Rams’ hope is that neither injury is too serious but we’ll know more after the full battery of tests. No matter what, the Rams are going to need to add another body or two at DT. With Trevor Laws on I.R., this position is now neck and neck with safety for the thinnest on the team in terms of depth.

– Some are questioning the veracity of playing the starters in the preseason finale for as long as the Rams did. But not sure you can look at it in a vaccuum. Yes, Brockers was hurt but who is to say that wouldn’t happen in a practice or in some other every day activity. The fact is, if the Rams were a veteran team coming off multiple playoff trips like Baltimore, then perhaps you sit your starters. But the Rams are the youngest team in the league and guys like Brockers, CB Janoris Jenkins, etc. need as many reps as possible to prepare for the real thing.

– Nice to see TE Michael Hoomanawanui get in the end zone and make a play. Still think the Rams keep four TEs but it’s going to be interesting to see how it shakes out after Lance Kendricks and Matthew Mulligan.

– Said it last night and will repeat myself here: CB Quinton Pointer had his best game of the preseason. Who knows if it lands him a roster spot but is it out of the realm of possibility? Probably not.

– Failed to mention this and shame on me but there needs to be some props given to the special teams beyond K Greg Zuerlein and P Johnny Hekker. The coverage units were outstanding and they had some good returns in the preseason, especially on kick returns. Chris Givens had a nice one last night.

– Will be interesting to see how the Rams sort through the options at places like backup linebacker and fullback when it comes to special teams. Guys like Aaron Brown remain on the bubble there.

– RT Wayne Hunter – who I’ll have more on later – is REALLY happy to be out of the New York market and in a more comfortable setting like St. Louis.

– Rookie WRs Brian Quick and Givens didn’t get the opportunities with the first unit Fisher had hoped. He said that’s because the first unit didn’t play as long as expected after it produced so well early in the game.

– Another nice TD for Austin Pettis. He had a really strong preseason and seems to be position to have a spot waiting for him on this team when he returns after week 2.

– Seeing the replay of the Brockers injury, is there any way that play is considered legal? Classic illegal high-low block away from the play, missed by officials.

– That’s going to do it for this one. Back more with all of the cuts and the breakdown of the remaining 53. Keep in mind – as Fisher was quick to remind last night – the 53 remaining players aren’t necessarily the “final” 53. Fisher made it clear the Rams will continue to churn the bottom of the roster in search of players that can help.

– Figures to be a busy few days around here even without a practice lined up.

– Thanks for reading.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 2 Comments »

Rams Find Some Rhythm in Preseason Finale

Posted by nickwagoner on August 31, 2012 – 3:50 AM

– The Rams emerged from Thursday’s game against Baltimore with a 31-17 win at the Edward Jones Dome but the result was of little consequence after the game to Coach Jeff Fisher and Co.

– What the Rams wanted, was an opportunity to get some production, create some momentum and maybe find a bit of rhythm in the preseason finale. They got it, even if Baltimore played next to none of its starters.

– More on the game in a moment but let’s hit injuries first.

– The Rams almost made it through an entire preseason without an injury scare. Almost.

– DT Michael Brockers left the game with an apparent right ankle injury. He left in a walking boot. The extent of the injury is not yet known but he’ll have an MRI tomorrow. We’ll see what it is then.

– Likewise, DT Matt Conrath left the game with an undisclosed injury and his status moving forward is unknown. The Rams are already a bit thin depth wise at DT and any serious injuries would not be good moving forward.

– As for the game, let’s be very clear here: Baltimore played almost none of its key players. No Flacco, Rice, Lewis, Reed, Ngata, etc. So yes, everything from this one has to be taken with a grain of salt.

– But here’s the thing: if you have your starters playing a group of backups and they DON’T jump all over the backups, you might have a problem. So yes, the Rams did what they were supposed to do and that’s a good thing.

– In the process, the Rams were again quite vanilla as were the Ravens. But the Rams got a look at some things they haven’t been able to do yet. They ran some no huddle looks, they worked in a variety of players and they got the type of production you’d hope for from your top offense and defense.

– QB Sam Bradford was sharp and had clean pockets most of the night, as you’d expect. He was pleased with the offense’s work while acknolwedging the backups on the other side. Still, anytime you post three touchdowns with no INTs in about a quarter and a half, it can help build some momentum.

– Likewise, the defense had a solid outing after a shaky first drive. They settled in, tackled much better and made some big plays.

– The starters didn’t play as long as projected because of the aforementioned production. Fisher didn’t want to risk injury and had seen enough after the starters staked a 21-0 lead in next to no time.

– Big time play for CB Janoris Jenkins on the interception and 76-yard return for a touchdown. Those are the big plays he’s capable of and he’ll make more as the season goes on. After a rough go last week, it was good for him to bounce back.

– Speaking of bouncing back, RB Isaiah Pead finally found some running room. It’s worth noting that Daryl Richardson got most of the work with the first team offense when Steven Jackson left the game. But Pead entered with the backups and had his best game of the preseason. He rushed 10 times for 58 yards.

– Another nice effort from fourth string RB Chase Reynolds, too. He carried eight times for 48 yards and had a shoddy call go against him for a fumble after the whistle blew.

– K Greg Zuerlein finally missed, though it was just short from 62 yards out. He hit from 59 yards to atone for that a bit later. The kid is a weapon. Fisher probably won’t so regularly attempt field goals that long in the regular season but if nothing else, Zuerlein has proved nearly automatic from inside 60 yards. In fact, I’m struggling to recall a miss from him, either in practice or a game, from inside 60 yards.

– T Wayne Hunter stepped right in and played with no issues though OC Brian Schottenheimer called plays he already knew from New York to help him adjust. Hunter is a BIG human being and seemed very happy to start fresh in St. Louis.

– He’ll probably be among the 22 cuts made tomorrow but a tip of the cap to CB Quinton Pointer, who made an interception and had some other nice moments against the Ravens. Way to put some good film out there.

– Fisher said the plan was to play Robert Turner with the starters at right guard next to C Scott Wells though a pregame indication came that it would be Rokevious Watkins. Still, Watkins ended up getting plenty of work with the backups at both left and right guard.

– Richardson again was solid and perhaps most encouraging was his work in the passing game. He had three catches for 19 yards on three targets. That’s an area of his game he had yet to show in this preseason.

– That’ll do it for tonight’s game. The Rams make final cuts tomorrow and Fisher has a news conference scheduled for 5 p.m. We’ll have all of that for you and plenty of instant breakdowns of the final 53-man roster.

– I’m happy to say it’s about that time Rams. The next time we have one of these post-game blogs will be for the real thing on Sept. 9 from Detroit. Thanks for reading.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »

Rams vs. Ravens: Running Blog

Posted by nickwagoner on August 30, 2012 – 9:51 PM

Fourth Quarter

– The Rams just added to their lead as Young GZ converted a 59-yard field goal to make it 31-10 Rams with 14:07 to go.

– The Rams got it back on a Quinton Pointer interception early in the fourth.

– Baltimore got on the board again as Painter hit receiver Deonte Thompson for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 31-17 Rams with 6:25 to play.

– That does it for the scoring.

– The Rams win it 31-17 to finish the preseason 2-2. Now, the real fun begins…

Third Quarter

– After a decent drive to open the quarter, Jenkins picked off a pass and returned it 76 yards for a touchdown. Like that, the Rams lead 28-0 with 13:22 to go in the third.

– Baltimore finally broke through with a touchdown as Curtis Painter hit former Rams TE Billy Bajema for a 7-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-7 Rams.

– The Rams went for a long field goal as Zuerlein just missed a 62-yard field goal to give it back to Baltimore at the Rams’ 48.

– Tucker hit a 49-yard field goal to make it 28-10 Rams with 1:13 to go in the third.

– At the end of three, the Rams lead 28-10.

Second Quarter

– Brockers does have a right ankle injury. His return is questionable, though extremely unlikely given the circumstances.

– The Rams got a stop and got it back at their 15.

– After some moving forward and back, Bradford hit TE Mike Hoomanawanui for a 9-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 6:59 to go in the half.

– Baltimore starts again from its 19.

– The Rams defense got a three and out and took over at their 26.

– The backup offense entered the game, including Kellen Clemens at QB.

– It’s been all Pead all the time, as he carried four straight time to Baltimore’s 47.

– Two plays later, Clemens fired deep for Chris Givens, who drew a pass interference flag for a gain of 35 to Baltimore’s 8.

– Two runs netted just 2 yards to set up third-and-goal.

– Bradford’s final line: 11-of-16 for 175 yards with three touchdowns and no picks for a rating of 144.5.

– Clemens was intercepted by CB Danny Gorrer for a touchback and Baltimore gets it back at its 20.

– Backups in on defense save for Jenkins and Dahl.

– Justin Tucker is no Greg Zuerlein and missed from 57 yards out at the end of the half.

First Quarter

-The Rams won the toss and took over at their 25 after a solid return from Isaiah Pead.

– They got a quick first down on two carries by Jackson netting 13 yards.

– After a 3-yard loss by Pead, Bradford hit Brandon Gibson for a gain of 14 and a first down.

– Consecutive incompletions on the heels of a 5-yard run by Jackson ended the drive.

– Baltimore takes over at its 12.

– Tyrod Taylor at QB for the Ravens. He got Baltimore a first down with a long run to midfield.

– Bernard Pierce followed with a carry for 11 to the Rams’ 39.

– The Rams stuffed Baltimore on consecutive runs and forced a punt. St. Louis gets it back at its 6.

– For the record: Watkins did NOT start at right guard. Robert Turner got the opportunity and he is back with the starters on the second drive.

– Baltimore is using backups almost exclusively on both sides with just a starter or two mixed in.

– The Rams went nowhere on the first two downs before Bradford lofted a deep ball down the right sideline for WR Steve Smith.

– Smith appeared to be interfered with but it didn’t bother him as he dived for a 46-yard completion to Baltimore’s 48.

– Three plays later, Bradford hit TE Mike McNeil for 12 yards and a first down.

– Bradford checked down to FB Ovie Mughelli on the next play for a gain of 23 to Baltimore’s 13.

– After a run for a loss of 1, Bradford hit WR Austin Pettis who grabbed it and took it 14 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Rams lead with 3:02 to go in the first.

– Baltimore took over at its 17. On third-and-13, DE Robert Quinn broke through off the left edge for a sack, forcing a fumble by Taylor. He recovered at the 8. After a review, the play was confirmed.

– Rams take over at Baltimore’s 8.

– After a 1-yard run by Daryl Richardson, Bradford zipped one over the middle to Amendola, who grabbed it  and dived into the end zone for a 14-0 Rams lead with 54 seconds to go in the first.

– Baltimore starts again from its 23.

– On second down, DT Michael Brockers appeared to have his ankle rolled on. He stayed down and was helped off. Appears to be a right ankle issue but he was able to put weight on it as he walked off. Updates to come.

– At the end of the first quarter, the Rams lead 14-0.
Pregame Notes

– Greetings from the Edward Jones Dome where the Rams and Ravens are preparing for tonight’s final preseason tuneup.

– This one kicks off at 6 p.m. so be sure to tune in when you get a chance.

– As for the game, the Rams are expected to go with the bulk of the starters into the third quarter. Granted, they’ll likely see a lot of the Ravens backups but coach Jeff Fisher isn’t concerned with that so much as giving his starters an opportunity to get in rhythm and build toward the opener.

– It’s unknown how much Baltimore will play its starters.

– The Rams scratches for today: S Darian Stewart, G Harvey Dahl, TE Lance Kendricks, DE Eugene Sims and DT Darell Scott.

– Fisher has said he wants to look at his young players with the ones and he’s following through with Dahl’s replacement: Rokevious Watkins.

– The Ravens aren’t releasing any scratches but it’s expected they will sit a large chunk of their starters.

– Stay tuned for updates throughout.

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League Adopts New I.R., Trade Rules

Posted by nickwagoner on August 30, 2012 – 6:49 PM

– The NFL and NFLPA announced Tuesday afternoon that the sides have come to an agreement to adopt new rules for injured reserve and move back the trade deadline.

– Here is the release from the league:

The NFL Management Council and NFL Players Association have agreed to adopt 2012 Bylaw Proposals No. 2 and No. 6A, the NFL and NFLPA announced today.

Bylaw proposal No. 2 moves the trading deadline from Tuesday, October 16 – the Tuesday after Week 6 of the regular season – to Tuesday, October 30, the Tuesday after Week 8.

Bylaw proposal No. 6A permits clubs to re-activate one player from Reserve/Injured during the 2012 season, subject to certain restrictions. 

Since this rule is being adopted after the cutdown to 75 players, for 2012 only, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to a transition procedure that permits clubs to return to their 53-player active list one player placed on Reserve/Injured since the start of preseason training camp.  This selection of that player must be made no later than 9:00 p.m. ET tomorrow, Friday, August 31.

Following the cutdown to 53 players, the new Reserve/Injured rule will work as follows:

1.    Only players with a “major injury” who are placed on Reserve/Injured after 4:00 p.m., New York time, on Tuesday, September 4, or thereafter during the season, will be eligible to be reactivated at a later time.

2.    A “major injury” is defined as an injury that renders the player unable to practice or play football for at least six weeks (42 calendar days) from the date of injury.

3.    Each team may reactivate only one player placed on Reserve/Injured after 4:00 p.m., New York time, on Tuesday, September 4.  That player must be “designated for return” at the time the club places him on Reserve/Injured, and such designation shall appear on that day’s Personnel Notice.

4.    Such player is eligible to return to practice if he has been on Reserve/Injured for at least six weeks from the date he is placed on Reserve.  He is eligible to return to the Active List if he has been on Reserve/Injured for at least eight weeks from the date he is placed on Reserve.

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Reminder: Thursday Night Game Starts at 6 p.m.

Posted by nickwagoner on August 30, 2012 – 5:05 PM

– Just a final reminder before tonight’s game against the Ravens: It starts at 6 p.m. That’s an hour earlier than originally scheduled and an hour earlier than your tickets say.

– The game can be seen on KTVI-Fox 2 and heard on 101 ESPN.

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Quick Turnaround for Rams

Posted by nickwagoner on August 28, 2012 – 6:58 PM

– The Rams just finished up Tuesday’s practice, wrapping up a short week of practice in which they will only practice twice before Thursday night’s game against Baltimore (a game that starts at 6:00 SIX O’CLOCK).

– Tuesday’s was the last full practice of the week before a special walk through tomorrow (more on that tomorrow) and the game Thursday night.

– In today’s practice, coach Jeff Fisher had the squad under a blistering hot sun, a sun that had seemed to go away for a while but returned with a vengeance on Tuesday.

– Sitting out the action today for various non-serious injuries or illnesses: S Darian Stewart, G Harvey Dahl, TE Lance Kendricks, DE Eugene Sims, DT Darell Scott and DT Kendall Langford.
– Also, OT Wayne Hunter is in town and undergoing his physical. The trade of Jason Smith for Hunter is not quite official yet so he did not participate in practice. For what it’s worth, Hunter will wear the No. 72 vacated by Smith when the trade is finalized.

– I’ll have full comment from Fisher in my notebook lead on the trade later today but he said it was a fresh start for both parties and he believed it would be beneficial for both to wipe the slate clean.

– Fisher doesn’t place great expectations on anyone. He hopes the change of scenery can help Hunter get it going but he openly acknolwedged that Barry Richardson has “won” the starting RT job, in no small part because of his experience.

– With Dahl gone, the Rams have been mixing and matching in the past two days at right guard. Bryan Mattison, Robert Turner and yes, Rokevious Watkins have gotten some run with the first team offense at RG the past two days. Don’t be surprised if they all get a look in the game, as well.

– Same goes for veteran FB Ovie Mughelli.

– The playing time for the final preseason game is pretty much set. Fisher said the ones would likely go through halftime and one series in the third quarter. RB Steven Jackson will get some touches with that group but don’t expect Jackson to play that whole time, either.

– Fisher said a competition for the No. 2 RB job still remains to play out and he’s not viewing it that way right now. He said a number of factors will determine how things look on game day, not least of which is the special teams jobs that the backups have.

– The Rams will have that walk through tomorrow night and the game kicks off Thursday night.

– Thanks for reading. More to come on the homepage later today.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 3 Comments »

Rams, Jets Agree to Swap OTs

Posted by nickwagoner on August 28, 2012 – 2:05 AM

– The Rams continued their flurry of moves Monday night, agreeing to a trade with the Jets that would swap OT Jason Smith to New York for OT Wayne Hunter.

– The sides agreed to terms Monday night but will not become official until the players take and pass physicals on Tuesday morning.

– Should the trade go through, it would give two much-maligned players a fresh start in new cities and situations.

– Hunter came into the league in 2003 as a third-round pick by Seattle. He went to the Jets in 2007 and became a full time starter in 2011, starting every game for New York last year.

– Hunter will be reunited with OC Brian Schottenheimer in St. Louis. That pair worked together for the duration of their time in New York.

– Because of that familiarity with Schottenheimer’s system, Hunter should be able to acclimate to the Rams’ system right away. He’ll likely step in behind Barry Richardson on the right side right away and could potentially push for the starting job.

– Hunter had become the target of criticism in New York because of some preseason struggles but would start anew in St. Louis.

– Smith was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He was expected to become one of the team’s bookend tackles for a long time. But his time in St. Louis has been marred by injury issues, including multiple concussions.

– The Rams would save some money against the salary cap – in excess of $1 million – should the trade go through.



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Quick Hits from Fisher’s Monday News Conference

Posted by nickwagoner on August 27, 2012 – 10:18 PM

– I realize this is the third blog entry of the day but just wanted to rundown some quick bits and pieces from coach Jeff Fisher’s news conference. I’ve already delved far enough into the cuts in the previous blog and the story coming on the site so these will be more about moving forward, so let’s knock these out real quick.

– On the injury front, Fisher labeled DT Darell Scott, S Darian Stewart and G Harvey Dahl as questionable for this week’s game against Baltimore. It’s unlikely any of the three will play on the short week and with only one more practice between now and the game.

– Fisher said the decision for the next round of cuts is going to be sorted as the week goes on but declined to name a specific spot where roster battles are still forming. Instead, he believes that there’s more shuffling to be done with guys that will be on the roster, for instance who is going to be the third corner in the nickel? We know who is going to make the team there but there’s shuffling to be done in terms of roles.

– He also acknowledged that the search for more players shaking loose from other teams is an ongoing process and will continue moving forward. With a team this young and lacking depth in some areas, it’s probably fair to say the Rams will add a player or two to their 53-man roster before prep for Detroit begins.

– On the Dallas game, which we covered here extensively yesterday, Fisher gave some positives and negatives, many of which were the same as his post-game reactions.

Positive: The running of rookie RB Daryl Richardson, the performances of the special teams as a whole
Negative: Poor tackling, miscommunication (especially on the back end) and breakdowns in protection up front.

– Fisher also addressed the play of QB Sam Bradford and said that Bradford held the ball a bit long on one play and the rest of the time the protection wasn’t there as Dallas threw quite a few blitzes and fronts at him.

– Last week, Fisher discussed working rookie WRs Chris Givens and Brian Quick with the first team but it didn’t happen against the Cowboys. On Monday, he said that would still be a goal for this week but would make no guarantees because the other wideouts are also still working on timing with Bradford.

“There’s a chance we’ll move them up,” Fisher said. “I’d like to see Quick and Givens up there but they are all young receivers so it’s just a matter of…so we’ll play as many as we can early in the game. With the numbers down, they will be playing throughout the game.”

– All for now, more from Fisher in story about cuts coming soon to front page.

– Thanks for reading.

Posted in From the Sidelines | 1 Comment »

Rams Cuts Include Alexander, Laws to I.R.

Posted by nickwagoner on August 27, 2012 – 8:01 PM

– The Rams trimmed their roster from 90 to 75 on Monday afternoon with no real surprises on the list, though a couple of names did stand out.

– First, the Rams released only 14 players but that’s because one went to injured reserve. That player was DT Trevor Laws.

– The players waived by the Rams: WR Danario Alexander, FB Todd Anderson, TE Brody Eldridge, WR Charles Gilbert, DT John Gill, WR Brandyn Harvey, LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis, T Kevin Hughes, LB Noah Keller, K Garrett Lindholm, T Ryan McKee, RB Calvin Middleton, RB Nick Schwieger and LS Travis Tripucka.

– Laws has a partial tear in his right patellar tendon, a problem that has been chronic for him. He was unable to practice almost all of training camp and he wouldn’t have been ready to start the season. That means some real openings for backup DT spots for youngsters Matt Conrath and Jermelle Cudjo. Also, it could mean the Rams look for more help at the position after final cuts are made.

– On the cuts list, no real surprises though a familiar name was on the list in the form of Alexander.

– It’s been covered here and plenty of other place ad nausea but it’s just been too difficult for Alexander to stay on the field. This camp, he sat out with a hamstring issue then practice a couple of times before going back on the shelf with more hamstring problems. Couple that with the on going knee issues which will always require management and here we are. Alexander is a great kid and a talented player but those talents don’t help a football team on the sideline. Here’s hoping the best for him in the future.

– The rest of the group didn’t get many opportunities in the preseason as others moved ahead of them on the list. Some were late additions such as Gill, Harvey and Gilbert. Best of luck to all of the players let go.

– The final cuts will come Friday when the Rams must go from 75 to 53. Here’s a positional breakdown of what’s left on the roster:

QB (4): Sam Bradford, Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis, Tom Brandstater
RB (4): Steven Jackson, Isaiah Pead, Daryl Richardson, Chase Reynolds
FB (3): Brit Miller, Ovie Mughelli, Ben Guidugli
WR (9): Danny Amendola, Steve Smith, Brandon Gibson, Austin Pettis, Brian Quick, Chris Givens, Greg Salas, Nick Johnson, Mike Campbell
TE (6): Lance Kendricks, Matthew Mulligan, Mike Hoomanawanui, Mike McNeill, Deangelo Peterson, Cory Harkey
OL (13): Rodger Saffold, Quinn Ojinnaka, Scott Wells, Harvey Dahl, Barry Richardson, Jason Smith, Robert Turner, T. Bob Hebert, Jose Valdez, Bryan Mattison, Rokevious Watkins, Joe Long, Tim Barnes

Total left on offense: 39

DL (13): Chris Long, Robert Quinn, Kendall Langford, Michael Brockers, William Hayes, Eugene Sims, Matt Conrath, Jermelle Cudjo, Darell Scott, Cornell Banks, Jamaar Jarrett, Scott Smith, Vernon Gholston
LB (8): James Laurinaitis, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Rocky McIntosh, Mario Haggan, Josh Hull, Aaron Brown, Justin Cole, Sammy Brown
CB: (7): Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins, Bradley Fletcher, Trumaine Johnson, Jerome Murphy, Kendric Burney, Quinton Pointer
S (5): Quintin Mikell, Darian Stewart, Craig Dahl, Rodney McLeod, Matt Daniels

Total on Defense: 33

– And, not there was much mystery anyway but the Rams have settled their specialist positions as well.

K (1): Greg Zuerlein
P (1): Johnny Hekker
LS (1): Jake McQuaide

– That’s all for today. I’ll have more in a story for the front with reaction quotes following coach Jeff Fisher’s news conference. Thanks for reading.

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Some Leftover Notes on C Scott Wells

Posted by nickwagoner on August 27, 2012 – 3:25 PM

– Good morning, Rams fans. By now, I hope you’ve all had the chance to read the story of C Scott Wells and his wife Julie’s adoption of three Ugandan children.

– If you haven’t it’s the top story in the rotation on the front of this very website.

– Obviously, it’s a long story but I trust that you’ll find it worth reading. Still, there were a few things that didn’t get as much mention that were left over from about a half-hour conversation with the Rams new center on Sunday afternoon.

– To me, the Wells’ story is much more of a human interest piece than something about a football player trying to rehab his knee while in a foreign country. That’s why most of the story focuses on the struggles of Wells and his wife Julie (who I haven’t met but from what I gather has to be one of the most incredibly strong women out there) and not on the football side of things.

– But there are a few notes that maybe need a bit emphasis so I just wanted to clear those up here.

– First, the timeline of what the summer was like.

Wells’ knee was NOT injured before he signed with the Rams. He did not have any prior problems with the knee but some regular wear and tear finally caught up to him in his first week working with the team. That was in May.

After getting the knee checked out, Wells opted to have surgery to clean it up right away with Dr. James Andrews in Florida. It was imperative to get the wound healed before he left for Africa – which was a scheduled departure of June 13 – to help him avoid possible infection of the wound.

Upon having the surgery, the timeline for his rehab and recovery was exactly what it is right now. There was no mystery, he was not set back by traveling to Uganda. In fact, a simple knee cleanup such as the one Wells had comes with a pretty simple rehab process. He didn’t need much of a fancy gym or equipment or anything to get back to health.

When Wells arrived back in the states for training camp, he was right about where he expected to be. Coach Jeff Fisher had indicated before camp that he hoped Wells would be back midway through the preseason. He returned to full practice right after the second game, right on schedule. He played against Dallas on Saturday and he’ll play against Baltimore on Thursday. He’s going to be ready for the opener barring a major setback. All is right on schedule football wise.

– As for the secrecy of the whole situation, if it wasn’t clear in the story, the nature of the adoption process with a country such as Uganda requires a lot of secrecy. Scott and Julie Wells had been working on this for well over a year. They had already had cooperation from Green Bay in keeping it quiet and when he signed with the Rams in March, it was agreed that it would be kept quiet for those same reasons.

– Fisher let it be known to some that Wells was going through a long and difficult process and his privacy needed to be respected. The story would be told in time. He kept his word and Wells was VERY appreciative of the fact that word of what happened never leaked out. I believe it’s why he was so open and forthcoming and even excited to talk about it yesterday.

– Anyway, just wanted to touch on those points again. Yesterday was the first chance I’ve had to sit down and talk to Scott Wells since he signed in St. Louis and it’s very evident that he’s a man of integrity and outstanding character. He’s a Pro Bowl center, yes, but it’s also obvious the Rams added a Pro Bowl caliber husband, father and human being as well.

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