Tailback Cleveland Gary, who has had a sore hamstring, practiced hard Friday, and Coach John Robinson said Gary looked strong enough to play long stretches of Sunday’s opener against the Phoenix Cardinals at Anaheim Stadium.
“Fatigue, we’re worried a little about,” Robinson said of Gary, adding that fullback Robert Delpino definitely will see some time at tailback Sunday.
No. 1 draft choice Todd Lyght, who suffered a slight strain of his left hamstring in practice Thursday, didn’t practice Friday and probably will be deactivated for Sunday’s game.
The first six players selected in the June draft, including Lyght at No. 5 and No. 6 Eric Swann, Phoenix’s defensive end who is on the injured-reserve list after knee surgery, all go into the season as backups or are injured.
The other deactivation, Robinson said, would involve either an offensive lineman, tailback David Lang or middle linebacker Frank Stams.
Robinson didn’t want to spend a lot of time this week talking about playing against Fritz Shurmur, Phoenix’s new defensive coordinator and the man he fired in January after eight seasons as the Ram defensive coordinator.
“We spent eight years together, and he’s a good friend of mine,” Robinson said. “I have great respect for him. Fritz is a big-time guy.”
Robinson said that newly acquired Vernon Turner probably will return kickoffs along with Delpino and will split the punt-return chores with cornerback Darryl Henley. . . . Chuck Long, the Rams’ No. 2 quarterback last season who was released this week, is scheduled to work out with the Cardinals next week. . . . With Long gone and the Rams down to two quarterbacks and with former emergency quarterback Pete Holohan in Kansas City, fullback Buford McGee is the Rams’ emergency quarterback.