Nelson Spruce played his first game for the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys in the first week of preseason.
Around this time last year, Nelson Spruce had become one of the most popular players for Los Angeles Rams to cheer for following an unexpected surprise impact in a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. One year later, the Rams coincidentally faced the Cowboys once again for their first preseason game, and just like the first time, Spruce made his presence felt in the passing game.
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During Saturday’s matchup against Dallas, Spruce caught all six passes thrown his way, but he only finished with 30 receiving yards, with his longest catch only going for seven yards. Obviously, it was great to see Spruce back in action since the only appearance he made last year due to a knee injury was that lone preseason game against the Cowboys, and his six catches on Saturday were the most of all receivers, but will he able to earn a roster spot this time around?
Keeping Spruce on the roster last year despite only one preseason appearance was a huge risk for Los Angeles, but they clearly wouldn’t have made the decision if they didn’t see some sort of potential for him in the passing game. This time around, however, the wide receiver department is jam packed for the Rams with four guys (Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Tavon Austin) basically guaranteed a roster spot, meaning the rest of the crew is going to have to put up a battle.
While Spruce may have an advantage over players like Mike Thomas, who will miss the first four games due to suspension, and Paul McRoberts, he needs to figure out a way to set himself apart even more from his teammates over the final three preseason games. The six catches for limited yards against the Cowboys were decent, but the Rams will be looking at players who can do more when it comes to getting further down the football field, which is why Spruce needs to elevate his game to a new level to make a stronger case for one of those roster spots at receiver.
Otherwise, Los Angeles fans are going to miss out on their beloved “Spruce chants” for every time he catches the football during the regular season. And more importantly, at least Spruce is managing to stay healthy this time around so he’ll hopefully be able to continue proving to Sean McVay how valuable he can truly be to this Rams’ offense.