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Monday, September 1, 2014
Sam not on Rams' practice squad

By Nick Wagoner
ESPN.com

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams announced their 10-man practice squad Monday afternoon and defensive end Michael Sam is not part of it.

After releasing Sam on Saturday, Rams coach Jeff Fisher suggested that a lack of bodies at positions with little depth could leave Sam on the outside looking in when the team added its practice squad.

"The practice squad is heavily dependent on what you do in other positions," Fisher said. "We've got, for example, it's well noted that [cornerback] Trumaine's [Johnson] going to be down for a few weeks, [offensive lineman] Barrett [Jones] is going to be down for a few weeks. We may have to go heavy in the other positions.

"If you're familiar with our roster right now, we've got five linebackers, for example; we need linebackers on the practice squad."

That came to fruition Monday when the Rams announced a practice squad that includes two linebackers, two offensive linemen, a quarterback, two safeties, two receivers and a defensive tackle. The 53-man roster is lighter than normal at all those spots save defensive tackle.

The team's practice squad consists of linebacker Denicos Allen, receiver Emory Blake, safety Christian Bryant, defensive tackle Matt Conrath, safety Matt Daniels, quarterback Garrett Gilbert, offensive tackle Sean Hooey, linebacker Kevin Reddick, receiver Justin Veltung and guard Brandon Washington.

Those additions weren't the only moves the team made Monday, as it also claimed quarterback Case Keenum on waivers from Houston. Since starter Sam Bradford's season-ending ACL injury against Cleveland on Aug. 24, Fisher said multiple times the team would patiently vet potential additions at quarterback.

"The quarterback position is a position that we're going to address, that we're going to monitor," Fisher said. "We'll get the list, and we'll see what's out there. I'm sure there'll be workouts and tryouts and a potential to do some things at the position, but right now, as I said a couple of days ago, we're not going to overreact. We're going to apply patience to this situation."

That patience resulted in finding Keenum, whom the Texans released after acquiring quarterback Ryan Mallett from the New England Patriots on Sunday. For now, Keenum joins Shaun Hill and Austin Davis as quarterbacks on the active roster. To make room for Keenum, the Rams put tight end Justice Cunningham on injured reserve.

Keenum entered the league in 2012 as an undrafted free agent from Houston. He started eight games in 2013, throwing for 1,760 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 54.2 percent of his passes.

Sam cleared waivers Sunday and is free to sign with any team. He was one of four seventh-round draft picks the Rams released Saturday. Of the 41 picks made in this year's seventh round, only 22 made initial 53-man rosters, while just four made it on to a practice squad. Another five seventh-rounders were placed on injured reserve.