Rams rookie running back Justin Davis makes his case for roster spot in preseason finale

Rams' Justin Davis runs through Green Bay Packers defenders during the second half of a preseason game on Thursday.
(Matt Ludtke / Associated Press)

A final audition in a preseason finale against the Green Bay Packers now turns into an uneasy wait for Rams running back Justin Davis.

Davis rushed for 55 yards in 17 carries in Thursday’s 24-10 loss at Lambeau Field. He also caught two passes for 21 yards.

After the game, undrafted free agent from USC was uncertain if his performance earned him a place on the roster, which will be trimmed from 90 players to 53 by Saturday.

“I left everything I can do out there on the field,” Davis said. “So there’s nothing else I can dwell on right now.”


Davis showed flashes throughout the preseason, coach Sean McVay said.

“He’s definitely going to be somebody that we’re going to look strong at,” McVay said. “I think he’s made a nice run at giving himself a chance to be on this football team.”

Davis is competing with Aaron Green, a member of the practice squad last season as a rookie, for a spot behind starter Todd Gurley and backup Malcolm Brown. Gurley did not dress for the final two preseason games. Brown sat out against the Packers.

“I’ve been trying my hardest to be a quick learner because the NFL is totally different than college,” Davis said, adding, “I’m doing a good job but I’ve still got a whole lot of work to do.”

Green was slowed during training camp and sidelined for the preseason opener after hand surgery. He has played in a cast since.

Against the Packers, he ran for 12 yards in seven carries.

The Rams signed backup running back Lance Dunbar, who played five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, but a knee injury kept Dunbar sidelined through offseason workouts and training camp.

Crowded receiver room


Receivers Brandon Shippen and Paul McRoberts, members of last season’s practice squad, started against the Packers.

Shippen caught seven passes for 58 yards, McRoberts one for 17.

“I gave my all tonight,” McRoberts said. “I just missed out on things I wanted to happen.”

Both are long shots to make the cut in a receiving corps that underwent a drastic change in personnel after last season.

Robert Woods signed as a free agent, the Rams drafted Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds and then acquired Sammy Watkins in a trade during the second week of training camp. Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper and Michael Thomas are holdovers from last season.

“We feel good about the depth at that position,” McVay said, adding, “Paul McRoberts has done a nice job but there is going to be some tough decisions at that position.”

McVay also complimented Shippen’s progress.

“I put everything I can out,” Shippen said. “So I have no regrets,”

Hurricane relief

Rams players Michael Brockers and Malcolm Brown began drives to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey, and the organization is joining the effort, the Rams announced.

Fans who purchase tickets to the Sept. 10 opener against the Indianapolis Colts have the option to direct a portion of their ticket price to be donated to relief efforts. Ticket buyers who wish to contribute can go to Ticketmaster and enter the code BROCKERS to have the Rams’ full proceeds from the sale donated to the American Red Cross and the United Way of Greater Houston.

The Rams also are offering two opportunities to attend the Colts game in an auction, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.


The first package includes use of a Peristyle Suite, which can accommodate as many as 35 guests, eight parking passes, a $1,000 food and beverage credit and a visit from a Rams hall of famer honored during pregame and halftime. Brockers will meet with the winner and their guests on the field after the game.

The second experience includes four tickets and four pregame field passes. The winner also will receive the game-worn jersey from Brockers.

Brockers, a Houston native, also started a crowdfunding relief campaign.

Brown, also a Texas native, is leading a collection drive of necessary items including water, food, diapers and cleaning supplies. Supplies may be dropped off at the Los Angeles Rams Headquarters at 29899 Agoura Road, 2nd floor, in Agoura Hills by Friday morning.


Defensive back Isaiah Johnson left the game and is being evaluated for a concussion, McVay said.

Follow Lindsey Thiry on Facebook and Twitter @LindseyThiry


Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein