A year ago, Rams players and coaches watched other NFL teams play on odd days of the week with games rescheduled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. After an entire spring of OTAs and losing all of their preseason games, they dealt with their own season-long protocols and tests and various preparation schedules.
So when the COVID madness took hold of them this past week, in a way, they were prepared to handle it.
Playing at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, as the Rams have to do against Seattle, still feels awkward. “I feel like I’m back in my Mack days in college,” said coach Sean McVay, about his playing days in Miami, Ohio, and the Mid-American Conference’s Made-for-ESPN Tuesday night game. Thinking.
(And, for the record, was part of six Tuesday night games in his three seasons as a player at Miami McVay, with a 4-2 record and a three-game Tuesday winning streak.)
It took longer for the NFL to be in a position to push back games in 2021. There were six such reschedulings in early October in 2020, with three Sunday games switched to Monday, two on Tuesday and one moved to Wednesday, to play a full season without any cancellations.
Rams’ current defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was part of the madness in Atlanta last year when the Falcons had a Sunday afternoon game at Green Bay in early October, which first turned into a Sunday night game and then moved into Monday night. . It was part of a 0–5 start that resulted in the ouster of Dan Quinn and Morris became interim head coach.
“We screwed up in Atlanta, and we were able to navigate some of those things,” he said over the weekend. “I was able to share some of those experiences with Sean, and he’s taking some of those things and going with it. Some things we just can’t seem to get on with. But that’s what it is.” Is.
“I mean, it’s been one of those weeks that’s been challenging, but at the same time that’s what we do. It’s how you deal with adversity and how you go about your business and move forward.” ”
To recap: Despite having five players, including All-Pro Jalen Ramsey, in the COVID protocol, the Rams won 30-23 last Monday night in Arizona. The list grew to 29 players during the week, the Rams were out of their Thousand Oaks facility for most of the week, and as of Friday the NFL announced the rescheduling of three games, including the Rams-Seahawks shift. on Tuesday.
Did the past prepare Rama for the present?
“It’s the first time we’ve had to deal with something like this in game week,” Cooper Kupp said. “But the last two years are all about being able to adapt, adjust, work on the fly together, put together a plan to make sure you are ready to go out there and execute your job, no matter what. It doesn’t matter what is thrown at you.”
It’s not entirely reminiscent of the early months of 2020, when players had to work out in a park or garage or back yard as springtime team activities took off. But there were similarities. The Rams held meetings and face-to-face talks exclusively via Zoom until Saturday, when they were able to take the field for the first time since the Arizona game.
None of this was pre-planned, but McVay said there was a “what if” thought process just in case, with the idea of being flexible and ready for anything.
“I certainly never expected it to come again,” McVay said.
“(It) isn’t something you can really pre-plan for. But people are doing a good job adjusting and adapting on the fly with this kind of ever-changing situation.”
Kupp, remember, had his wife throw a pass at him during those improvised workouts in the spring of 2020. We don’t know how tight Anna Marie Kupp can be, but improvising once makes it easy to do it again.
“Somehow, over the last two years, there’s been a slow ability to learn how to do this,” Kupp said. “I think people are getting used to it now, and just realizing that this is the kind of world we’re living in right now. You have to be willing to adapt, be ready to adjust or You’re not going to make it.”
The adjustment will likely extend to game day and beyond. The Rams have withdrawn some players from the COVID list – McVay was absolutely bubbly over the weekend after learning Ramsey would be available for the game – but there was still some uncertainty as to what the roster would look like as of Monday afternoon.
And the rams have changed a short week to a short week. He will have an extra day before Tuesday’s game, but then he will have four days to prepare for Sunday’s appointment against the Vikings in Minneapolis. So if you think that the Rams are treating Tuesday as Sunday, then the upcoming game will look like they are playing on Friday. Given the general stress in preparing for the occasional Sunday-to-Thursday change, an extra day certainly can’t hurt.
“We are such creatures of habit,” McVay said. “You get into your own rhythm and routine, and in all seriousness, it’s like I’m going about my Friday rhythm (on Sundays) … These are things we do well to do.” Well equipped, especially in this season.”
Here’s another way to look at last week’s madness. Aaron Donald considered it a “mini-buy week”.
“I couldn’t do anything,” he said. “I had nowhere to go, so it helped me too.”
When things don’t go according to plan, insist on the positive, right?
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