– Rams coach Jeff Fisher just discussed Sunday’s 36-22 loss to Minnesota and hit on a variety of topics. Let’s dive right in…
– First, RG Harvey Dahl does, indeeed, have a torn left biceps and will not be available for the team’s final two games. Fisher said he will be placed on injured reserve but no decision has been made on who will replace him yet.
– Fisher also offered praise for Dahl’s play as a consistent, durable presence on a line with many moving parts this season. The rehab for the injury is about three or four months and Dahl will have to have surgery this week to get it repaired.
– Otherwise, Fisher said the Rams came out of the game OK on the injury front though a few players might have to miss a little practice time early in the week like they did last week.
– On the mood of the team today, one day after its playoff hopes went away, Fisher said the team was deflated but came back to work with enthusiasm in search of ways to win the final two weeks. Fisher told his team it could mope or it could deal with it and move on as a team that’s won three of its past four games.
– Fisher offered a couple of carrots to his team in the form of a chance to finish with a winning record and possibly go undefeated in the NFC West Division. He hopes both serve as proper motivation for his team down the stretch.
– For the most part, Fisher said his team was upbeat and he’s pleased with that because that’s the environment you want them to be in every week they come to work. It appears it’s still there.
– Fisher referred to the final two weeks as a chance to “improve the big picture of the team.” In other words, a strong finish could set the stage for a big year next year.
– Asked if he would use the final two weeks to take a look at younger players, Fisher pointed out most of the younger players are already playing so he didn’t forsee much changing on that front in the final two weeks.
– On the game, Fisher again lamented the fact that his team let the Vikings play their game, which is to say they let Minnesota run the ball and rush the passer because the second quarter got away from them.
– One sequence in particular bothered Fisher when discussing the things that went awry and that was the two-minute drive near the end of the first half when two false start penalties killed a potential scoring drive and resulted in a missed field goal for the Rams and a made one for Minnesota to make it 30-7 right before half.
– In fact, Fisher said he continues to be disappointed with silly penalties such as that one, including a holding penalty on the second drive of the game and the penalties that continue to wipe out long returns on special teams.
– Speaking of special teams, Fisher said there were a few errors that hurt the Rams on Sunday, starting with the decision by KR Chris Givens to bring the opening kickoff out from deep in the end zone. Fisher said the hang time was too long and the kick too deep to bring out. It left the Rams starting from their 12.
– Likewise, Fisher said P Johnny Hekker hit a couple of bad punts that had little net and attributed it to Hekker’s learning to directional kick. He said those “didn’t help” but said Hekker is improving and they’ll keep working with him. Hekker has gotten the job done more often than not this season.
– Fisher was asked if QB Sam Bradford came up groggy from the hit he took when he tried to scramble for a first down and didn’t slide. He said Bradford was fine and had no issues with communication or anything else the rest of the game.
– While Fisher credits Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson for his world-class skill set, he did say S Quntin Mikell was openly held on the 52-yard run Peterson had late that wiped away Rams’ momentum and completed the Vikings’ scoring for the day.
– Fisher said young TE Cory Harkey is a player that’s coming on after he made his first catch and got his most extended action of the season Sunday.
– With Dahl out, Fisher said he expects to have Shelley Smith and Chris Williams work in the final two games and perhaps both would get a look in those games. It was Smith that finished Sunday’s game out.
– One more note, not from Fisher. A lot of people have asked about WR Danny Amendola’s unfortunate spike that hit the usher in the face, causing him to be checked out by medical personnel. The highlights show Amendola handing the ball from his 2-point conversion to a different usher after that catch and wondering if Amendola got the wrong person. But Amendola signed a ball and sent it with Equipment Manager Jim Lake to hand to the usher as he was walking off the field for his medical evaluation. So, the usher did get a ball from Amendola, who felt bad about the whole thing right after realizing what happened.
– That’s all for today. The Rams get back to work with a practice on Wednesday afternoon.
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