EARTH CITY, Mo. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of St. Louis Rams training camp:
The Rams shed the pads Friday after a pair of practices with them on and the result was the opposite of what happened Thursday night. While key players such as tackle Jake Long, end William Hayes and center Scott Wells continue to work back into the mix as they recover from injuries, surgeries and illnesses, the Rams had a couple of injury scares Friday night. Defensive tackle Michael Brockers and guard Rodger Saffold suffered injuries within a span of a few plays on a red-zone drill. Brockers appeared to hurt his foot or ankle; Saffold's injury looked to be more of a hand or wrist issue. After the practice, coach Jeff Fisher said Saffold's injury didn't seem serious and Brockers' ailment didn't look to be, either. He went through stretching drills with the team. It's possible the Rams will hold both players out for a bit after they're evaluated closer, but at first glance, it doesn't look like either will miss serious time.
As for the action on the field, this practice looked similar to others of recent vintage. Quarterback Sam Bradford continues to take shots down the field and has had some success connecting, but those came after a pretty ugly seven-on-seven session for the offense. In one sequence, cornerback Trumaine Johnson intercepted a Bradford throw to the end zone and corner E.J. Gaines followed with a pick against Garrett Gilbert a couple of plays later. Even when Bradford threw a perfect ball to tight end Lance Kendricks, Kendricks dropped what should have been a touchdown though he bounced back with some catches later. In team drills, the offense turned the tide some as Bradford got the ball down the field to the likes of Brian Quick and Tavon Austin, but he also missed on a deep ball to Stedman Bailey when he waited too long to throw it. Bailey caught it, but was out of bounds. Rookie guard Greg Robinson had a false-start penalty in red-zone team drills that drew the ire of the coaching staff.
Defensive end Ethan Westbrooks, who is battling for a potential ninth defensive line roster spot, returned to practice Thursday on a limited basis and did more on Friday. Included in the more were some good pass rushes, especially in red-zone drills. He's got some potential and enough time to catch up in the competition.
Middle linebacker James Laurinaitis and cornerback Janoris Jenkins didn't practice Friday. The nature of Jenkins' issue is unknown, but he watched practice from the sideline. Laurinaitis got stepped on Thursday night and though it didn't appear to be too serious, the Rams clearly aren't going to push him right now to make it worse. It's worth noting that this is the time of camp when soft tissue injuries begin to pop up. In the absence of Laurinaitis and Jenkins, Jo-Lonn Dunbar took the reps at middle linebacker and Brandon McGee worked at outside corner opposite Johnson.
The Rams host their annual FanFest on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET, which features a scrimmage and some live tackling for the backup groups. The event is free and open to the public at the Edward Jones Dome.