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Case Keenum reflects on season with Rams; future unclear

Rams quarterback Case Keenum offers encouraging words to Jets rookie quarterback Bryce Petty after the Rams' victory on Nov. 13. It was the last game that Keenum started.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Every Saturday morning, a thoughtful neighbor has left a treat for Rams quarterback Case Keenum near his front door.

“Good-luck brownies,” Keenum said Tuesday.

That is only one of Keenum’s memories from this season, which ends Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals in what could be Keenum’s final game with the Rams.

Keenum started nine games and was the backup for five, but barring an injury or setback befalling rookie Jared Goff or second-year pro Sean Mannion, he will almost certainly be inactive for the second week in a row.

Keenum, 28, signed a one-year contract before the season for $3.6 million and is expected to test the free-agent market.

Is Keenum looking ahead?

“It’s hard not to — I try not to,” said Keenum, who spoke to reporters for the first time since Mannion was elevated to No. 2.

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Keenum started five games for the Rams in 2015 – including the last four – but his status became tenuous the moment the team completed a trade with the Tennessee Titans that enabled them to select Goff with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft.

Keenum, a fifth-year pro, helped the Rams to a 3-1 start, but the offense faltered throughout the season and he was supplanted by Goff as the starter in Week 11 against the Miami Dolphins. Keenum played in the fourth quarter at Seattle in Week 14 after Goff was put into concussion protocol, but interim Coach John Fassel said before last week’s game against San Francisco that Mannion would be the backup for the final two games.

Fassel said that when he broached the possibility of making Mannion the backup, Keenum told him, “I don’t love it, but I understand that if that happens, I get it.’”

Keenum on Tuesday confirmed the exchange, but the move took him by surprise.

“I wasn’t thinking about it,” he said. “It’s not my job, not my decision so I just do what I’m coached to do.”

Keenum has passed for 2,201 yards and nine touchdowns, with 11 interceptions this season.

Asked what his biggest takeaway would be from a season that included the franchise’s move from St. Louis to Los Angeles, Keenum spoke of the relationships he has established and the community work he and his wife have participated in together.

“Off the field, a lot of really good stuff — we had some great moments on the field, too,” he said. “So you try to take away some good things and learn from what you didn’t do well. And improve on how you played, certain areas you can work on in the offseason, and you come back a better man for it.”

gary.klein@latimes.com

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein


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