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Rams' Trumaine Johnson is ready to take the field and leave training room behind

Rams' Trumaine Johnson is ready to take the field and leave training room behind
Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) intercepts a pass in the end zone intended for Arizona Cardinals receiver John Brown (12) during a game Oct. 2. (Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

With a high ankle sprain and bone bruise limiting his mobility — and the Rams spiraling into a three-game losing streak — cornerback Trumaine Johnson did not stray far during the last month, regardless of city or country.

"I've been living in the training room," Johnson said Friday.

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Johnson camped there in various locales after he was injured during a loss to the Buffalo Bills at the Coliseum on Oct. 9. He made himself at home in facilities at Detroit and in London. And with an open date last week, he continued treatment at Cal Lutheran to prepare for practice this week.

Johnson is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, but he practiced for the second time Friday, said he felt great and sounded eager to return.

"I'm just ready to play, man," he said. "I'm tired of losing. I'm sitting there and watching my teammates. I feel like I can help win some games."

The Rams had a 3-1 record and were in first place in the NFC West before Johnson was injured.

They have fallen to 3-4 and are in third place heading into the non-division matchup against a Panthers team that features quarterback Can Newton and a tall and talented receiving corps led by 6-foot-5 tight end Greg Olsen and 6-5 receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

At 6 feet 2, Johnson would provide size, experience and leadership for a secondary that struggled at times in his absence.

"I've been testing it all week," he said, adding, "I got a lot more reps than Wednesday.

"I feel good , so we'll see on Sunday."

Running start

Todd Gurley didn't find much room to run during the first seven games.

The reigning NFL offensive rookie of the year is averaging 57.6 yards rushing per game and only three yards per carry.

"Just hope that things open up," he said, "and I'm pretty sure they will."

The problem with the running game, Coach Jeff Fisher said, is "not a Gurley thing."

He added that "it's more of a team thing, and then it's an opponent issue too, because they're stopping it, they're loading up."

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But does Gurley need to make adjustments?

"No, we grade everybody," Fisher said. "You'd like to see him make somebody miss, or break a tackle. He should win against defensive backs, especially corners.

"But I'm not, by any means, down on Todd."

Making a stand

Defensive end Robert Quinn has stood with a raised fist during the national anthem, and he does not plan to end the practice any time soon.

Quinn is among several NFL players who have shown support for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has sat or knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial oppression.

"If you  believe in what you stand for, don't let anybody or anything deter you from your beliefs," Quinn said.

Quinn said he experienced several incidents, including one as a pre-teen when he was "randomly" stopped by police while riding his bike to a store.

"Supposedly, I  looked like a suspect that stole a  car or broke into a house," he said.

Safety T.J. McDonald said teammates support Quinn's symbolic stand.

"A lot of guys agree," McDonald said. "We all don't necessarily get into the politics of it, but when a guy stands for something, especially something as strong as that, we're going to back him up."

Quick hits

Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner was teammates with Benjamin at Florida State. The Panthers receiver has 31 catches, four for touchdowns. "The first time I ever saw him, I thought he was a tight end," Joyner said. "Then I saw him out on the field moving around." . . . Defensive tackle Michael Brockers (groin), defensive end William Hayes (ankle) and offensive lineman Jamon Brown (hand) were limited Friday and are listed as questionable for Sunday's game. Rookie receiver Nelson Spruce (calf) did not practice and is out. Spruce, who signed as an undrafted free agent, was sidelined the first seven games because of a knee injury suffered in the first exhibition against the Dallas Cowboys.

Twitter: @LATimesklein

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