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Jeff Fisher: Case Keenum to remain Rams' quarterback

Jeff Fisher: Case Keenum to remain Rams' quarterback
Rams starting quarterback Case Keenum (17) speaks with rookie backup Jared Goff before a game against the New York Giants on Sunday in London. (Dan Istitene / Getty Images)

He had an overnight flight that lasted more than 11 hours, and a full day to reconsider.

But Rams Coach Jeff Fisher remained resolute: There will be no change at quarterback.

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Despite a 3-4 record, a three-game losing streak and four Case Keenum passes intercepted by the New York Giants, Keenum remains the starter and No. 1 draft pick Jared Goff the backup.

During a news conference Monday at Cal Lutheran, Fisher reiterated what he said without prompting immediately after Sunday's 17-10 loss to the Giants at Twickenham Stadium in London.

"I have not changed my mind-set whatsoever with respect to Case and Jared," Fisher said.

The Rams traded to the top of the draft to select Goff. But after appearing overwhelmed during exhibitions, he was inactive for the season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers and has not played a snap.

While rookie quarterbacks such as Philadelphia's Carson Wentz and Dallas' Dak Prescott have thrived as starters, Goff has been relegated mainly to second-team practice reps.

The Rams have a bye this week, which offers a natural time to consider changes for a team that appears on track for another 7-9 or similar finish.

Keenum has passed for eight touchdowns, with 10 interceptions, including three that were returned for touchdowns.

He ranks 27th in the league completion percentage and 35th in passer rating, according to NFL.com. The Rams have had chances to tie or win three consecutive games late in the fourth quarter, and the offense has failed to come through each time.

Fisher reminded that the Rams won three games in a row with Keenum earlier in the season.

"Yes, I understand we've lost three straight, but the quarterback position, in my opinion, is not the reason why we lost the football games, nor was it [Sunday]," Fisher said, adding, "Jared is going to be our starter [in the future], but we're going to continue with Case."

The Rams will practice only once this week before breaking for four days and returning early next week.

Goff will get first-team snaps before the Rams resume preparations for a Nov. 6 game against the Carolina Panthers at the Coliseum.

"I don't feel like Case needs the reps Wednesday and early next week," Fisher said, "so Jared will get those reps, which is good."

After the loss to the Giants, Rams players supported Keenum.

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"We have ultimate confidence in Case," receiver Kenny Britt said. "We know he's the quarterback that can get us to where we want to go."

Said middle linebacker Alec Ogletree: "We're in this thing together; he's not singled out. … There's no confidence lost in his play. He struggled a little bit but that's football."

Keenum has acknowledged that he needs to play better and avoid turnovers. He also took responsibility for miscommunication with receivers that led to passes thrown — and interceptions — with no receivers near the ball.

Fisher put the onus on receivers and others.

"When you're playing close games, you've got to do everything exactly right, and we didn't do that at the wide receiver position," he said. "Nor did we do that at the offensive line position, or the running back position, for that matter."

The Rams will use the bye week to correct mistakes and prepare for the second half of the season, Keenum said.

"It's not a thing where we're going to be sitting on our hands," he said. "We're going to go to work for a few days, and then we're going to recharge. … I think we're all ready to roll off a few games in our favor."

Quick hits

Rookie receivers Pharoh Cooper, Michael Thomas and Nelson Spruce are expected to get first-team reps during Wednesday's practice. … The Rams played the Giants at the end of a 10-day trip that began the Friday before a loss at Detroit. They started fast against the Giants, forcing a turnover and scoring on their first two possessions. "If I had to do it all over again, I'd do the same thing because [players] were prepared, they were fresh and they were ready to play," Fisher said of arriving a week in advance.

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