Despite recent struggles, Rams cornerback Marcus Peters remains supremely confident

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) celebrates next to Los Angeles Rams cornerback Marcu
Quarterback Russell Wilson (3) and the Seattle Seahawks celebrate near Rams cornerback Marcus Peters after receiver David Moore (83) caught a pass for a touchdown.
(Scott Eklund / Associated Press)

It has been a rough few weeks for Rams cornerback Marcus Peters.

He suffered a calf injury against the Chargers, played four days later against the Minnesota Vikings and was on the field for every defensive snap against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

The Rams won all three games, but Peters of late has struggled to maintain the form that earned him two Pro Bowl invitations in his first three NFL seasons.

Peters, however, does not deflect blame. And he remains confident and upbeat.


He said Wednesday that he was feeling “100%.”

A long touchdown pass he gave up against the Seahawks?

“I got beat,” he said. “I gotta keep my eyes on there, you feel me? Can’t say nothing else about it.”

It was the second consecutive game that quarterbacks boldly challenged Peters, who returned an interception for a touchdown in the Rams’ Week 1 victory over the Oakland Raiders.


In Week 4, the calf injury appeared to inhibit Peters’ leaping ability on a touchdown pass from Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins to receiver Aldrick Robinson at the Coliseum.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson challenged Peters on two touchdown passes in the Rams’ 33-31 victory at CenturyLink Field. Peters also was twice penalized for holding.

Is he playing at the level to which he is accustomed?

“Nah,” he said. “But it’s football baby. That’s the beautiful thing about it.

“You’re going to have these weeks like this to where it’s going to be a struggle to get in the flow … and make some plays, and make some big plays. And, I mean, you just got to make some plays the next week.”

Peters and the Rams go up against the Denver Broncos and quarterback Case Keenum on Sunday in Denver.

As efficient as elite cornerbacks are at neutralizing receivers, they are equally adept at quickly shaking off mistakes or outstanding efforts by opponents.

Peters, 25, said he learned the importance of having a short memory early in his career. Very early.


“Ever since I was a little kid,” he said.

Peter played his first three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, and led the league with 19 interceptions during that span.

The Rams traded for Peters in March. It was the first in a series of moves that also netted cornerback Aqib Talib, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh and receiver Brandin Cooks, and helped make the Rams a Super Bowl contender.

Peters, the 18th pick in the 2015 draft, is earning slightly more than $1.7 million this season. The Rams have exercised their fifth-year option, which will pay Peters about $9 million in 2019 if they do not extend his contract before then.

Peters and Talib gave the Rams one of the NFL’s premier cornerback combinations before each suffered injuries against the Chargers.

With Talib sidelined while recovering from ankle surgery, the Rams started cornerback Sam Shields opposite Peters against the Vikings.

But Shields struggled.

Troy Hill started against the Seahawks and played more consistently, recording five tackles and breaking up a pass.


Hill, who played only two defensive snaps against the Vikings, played 49 of 60 snaps against the Seahawks.

“It was good to get my feet wet again,” he said.

Hill, in his third season with the Rams, expects to improve against the Broncos.

“Just keep trying to grow, that’s all I’m trying to do,” he said. “When you’ve got great players around you, I’ve just been feeding off them and try to make plays like one of them.”


Receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp, both of whom suffered concussions against the Seahawks, did not practice but coach Sean McVay said they were “progressing along in the protocol.” … Defensive lineman Aaron Donald, when apprised that Seahawks offensive lineman D.J. Fluker said the Rams had not “seen a team that’s played physical” before last Sunday: “They’ll see us again.” … Kicker Greg Zuerlein remains at least a week away from returning from a groin injury, McVay said. Cairo Santos, who missed an extra-point try but kicked what proved to be the game-winning field goal against the Seahawks, will play against the Broncos. “The history of this injury with regards to kickers calls for caution,” McVay said. “The last thing you want to do is rush them back where they could potentially have a setback. The confidence that we do have in Cairo enables us to be a little bit more patient than maybe we would otherwise.”… The forecast in Denver calls for possible snow Sunday. McVay said there was no way to prepare for those particular elements. “Out here in Southern California,” he said, “unless we want to go to an ice rink, I don’t think we can really mimic and emulate that.”

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein

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