Thursday night the St. Louis Rams will close out the preseason at Sun Life stadium in Miami against the Dolphins. The game will be played at 6:00 PM CT and can be seen by purchasing the NFL Preseason Live package or you can listen to the game by purchasing the NFL Audio Pass.
Thursday night will be the final game before the Rams will have to cut their roster to the final 53. Therefore this will be the final game for players like Michael Sam to make their case to stay on the roster.
Although the Rams defeated the Browns 33-14 in their last preseason game, the team did suffer significant injuries to quarterback Sam Bradford and cornerback Trumaine Johnson. The team will be looking to avoid any serious injuries tonight against the Dolphins.
A second consecutive win going into the team’s home opener against the Vikings would be nice, but to come away injury free would be better.
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher hasn’t specified how much he will play the Rams starters, but Fisher, unlike other teams, plays his starters a little more in the final preseason game. Whether or not the way last week went will have any affect on his decision has yet to be determined.
What To Watch
1. As mentioned above, Fisher has yet to say how much his starters will play, but if they do, definitely keep an eye on Shaun Hill. Although he did start the first game against the New Orleans Saints, and played well for the matter, watch to see how much chemistry he has developed with the young receivers and how much confidence he has in them. With Sam Bradford out for the season, how Hill plays will greatly affect the Rams’ season, and it is crucial that he has a good relationship with these receivers.
2. With Trumaine Johnson out for the next four to six weeks, the Rams will be relying on E.J. Gaines, Brandon McGee, or Greg Reid to be the number two guy across from Janoris Jenkins. Although it very well could change by week one, and probably will for that matter, watch to see who Fisher starts and then keep an eye to see how each of them plays.
3. The last player and thing to watch is Michael Sam. This is his last chance to prove that he belongs on this roster. It has been an uphill battle from the get go, but if he goes out and performs well, he will have an opportunity to not only become the first openly gay player to make an NFL roster, but also prove his critics wrong and do what he set out to do from the beginning, be a football player.
Prediction: Dolphins Win 20-16
This will be an interesting game, but when all is said and done, I think Miami comes away with a victory just for the fact that the Rams don’t have a lot of depth on the offensive line which could mean that Austin Davis and Garrett Gilbert could struggle to find time to throw the ball and the Rams could have trouble opening up running lanes.