Sat. Oct 24th, 2020

Rams’ Jalen Ramsey practices fully, hopes to debut…

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Rams unsure if Jalen Ramsey will debut Sunday vs....

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Cornerback Jalen Ramsey participated in his first practice Thursday as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.

“I felt like it went well,” Ramsey said after a workout of approximately one hour, 45 minutes. “Of course I’m still getting back into it, getting into a groove, but I felt like it went well overall.”

The Rams traded for Ramsey on Tuesday, sending first-round picks in 2020 and 2021 and a fourth-round pick in 2021 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for the All-Pro cornerback.

Ramsey, who requested a trade after Week 2, was inactive the past three games with Jacksonville because of a back injury, but no such issue slowed him Thursday.

The Rams listed Ramsey as a full participant on their official injury report. However, uncertainty remains whether he will play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

“I think we going to keep working, we got a couple more days to figure it out,” Ramsey said. “We gonna do what’s smart for myself and the team, but I hope so. I hope I can go help and contribute to a win, somehow, some way, whether it’s limited, or whatever. A couple plays, it don’t matter.”

Rams coach Sean McVay said before Thursday’s practice that the workout would “be the big gauge” that could determine if, and how much, Ramsey plays.

“Really more than anything, for him to push himself physically, communicate how he’s feeling,” McVay said. “We’ll do what’s best for Jalen and what’s best for our team, is to be able to have him up in some form or fashion.”

Ramsey, who is in the fourth season of a five-year rookie contract, said a mixture of issues will determine whether he will play. “To be able to play this game at an elite level, like I want to play it, you got to feel comfortable in all aspects,” he said. “Not just physically, with my back conditioning, but mentally as well.”

The Rams are 3-3 and in the midst of a three-game losing streak for the first time since McVay took over as coach in 2017, and the defense is in need of a boost after cornerback Aqib Talib and safety John Johnson were placed on injured reserve and cornerback Marcus Peters was traded to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Rams have allowed an 82 Total QBR over the past three games, which ranks second-highest in the NFL.

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald said Thursday that he was “excited” to add Ramsey, who has nine interceptions and 45 pass breakups in 51 starts, to the defense.

“Adding him to the mix is definitely a big plus for us and the things he can do, the things he’s capable of doing, will help us a lot,” said Donald, the two-time defending NFL Defensive Player of the Year. “The quarterback tends to hold the ball a little longer, so gives us opportunities to get out there in the rush game, with him being back there doing what he do, it’s going to give us a lot of advantages.”

Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman nodded his head emphatically when asked if during practice Ramsey looked like a player who could contribute immediately.

“For the first day, it was amazing,” Robey-Coleman said, nodding.

Veteran safety Eric Weddle, who is in his first season with the Rams, said Ramsey’s intelligence was on display at practice.

“Jalen looked great, extremely gifted, but moreso, how easy he’s caught on to the defense and was able to go out there and practice fast,” Weddle said. “We were communicating well, moving around, he looked good. But there is not pressure either way — we’re going to be good to go whether he plays or not, we don’t want to push him. He’s easing back into it, but he had a great practice today.”

While Ramsey was the focal point on the defensive side during practice, running back Todd Gurley, who missed last Sunday’s loss to San Francisco due to a thigh contusion, was listed as being a limited participant Thursday.

Gurley said he was “doing better,” but wouldn’t say if he’ll play on Sunday. Backup running back Malcolm Brown didn’t practice for a second straight day due to an ankle injury.

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