Sunday, August 15, 2010

Rams Struggle Against Vikings

- The Rams fell to Minnesota 28-7 on Saturday night in a game that featured a few big plays, most for Minnesota and a whole lot of penalties.

- On the injury front, the Rams made it through the game relatively clean though cornerbacks Jerome Murphy (left ankle) and Kevin Dockery (hip) were forced from the game with ailments. Neither injury appeared serious.

- LB Dominic Douglas suffered a shoulder injury and Craig Dahl "bumped" his knee according to Spagnuolo.

- The extent of those injuries won’t be known until tomorrow but they did leave the Rams woefully thin at corner where rookies Marquis Johnson and Antoine Thompson got most of the rest of the work.

- With Murphy and Dockery hurt, the Rams were missing that duo as well as Ron Bartell, Bradley Fletcher and Justin King at the corner position alone not to mention safety James Butler.

- On the offensive line, the Rams were missing just guard Jacob Bell (hamstring) from the lineup and shuffled accordingly. They started the night with Rodger Saffold at left tackle, Adam Goldberg at left guard, Hank Fraley at center, Jason Brown at right guard and Jason Smith at right tackle. That group stayed in for the bulk of the first half with the only change moving Brown to center and Fraley to guard when rookie QB Sam Bradford stepped in.

- Speaking of Bradford, he got off to a nice start on his first possession. After misfiring on his first attempt, Bradford settled in and hit Laurent Robinson for a gain of 18. He got the Rams the furthest in the first half, moving them to Minnesota’s 36 before that drive failed.

- In addition, Bradford was able to silence any naysayers who believed he wouldn’t be able to handle getting hit. Bradford took a few shots in his time, including three sacks and bounced right back up from each of them.

- All told, Bradford took 22 snaps and got his first taste of NFL action. Like any rookie, there’s plenty of work left to do.

- The Rams got a little early dynamite from one of training camp’s most impressive players as Danny Amendola continued to make an impact. He returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown and showed burst that he might not have showed before, outracing the majority of the Vikings coverage unit for the score.

- Linebacker Larry Grant provided a bright spot in the first half as he was seemingly all over the field on both defense and special teams. He finished with four tackles and two pass breakups.

- Another impressive defensive youngster was end George Selvie, who just continues to find ways to make plays when the lights shine brightest. He had a sack and created pressure on multiple occasions throughout the night to follow his big scrimmage at Lindenwood University when he had two sacks.

- Additionally on the injury front, receiver Brandon McRae missed most of the game because of what Spagnuolo called a "significant" ankle injury.

- Chris Massey (special teams), Steven Jackson (offense) and James Hall (defense) were the pre-game captains for the Rams.

- As expected, Jackson was held out of the game as the Rams attempt to protect him from unnecessary wear and tear before the regular season.

- The Vikings did the same with RB Adrian Peterson, who also did not play.

- Rookie RB Keith Toston showed some burst on a nice kickoff return and again as he got some carries in the game’s waning moments before an injury ended his evening about three minutes early. He had the wind knocked out of him but should be OK.

- Thaddeus Lewis did a nice job on his first possession, advancing the Rams the furthest they were able to move all night as he got the Rams into the red zone for the first time.

- The Rams are back to practice on Monday and visit Cleveland next Saturday night.

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