Gerald Everett’s injury cause of concern for Rams
Rams beat writer Gary Klein chats with Annie Heilbrunn about what’s stood out through one week of training camp, the latest on the Aaron Donald holdout and more.
Gerald Everett was expected to play a larger role in the Rams’ high-scoring offense this season, the second for both the tight end and coach Sean McVay.
That plan has hit an early roadblock.
A shoulder injury will prevent Everett from traveling with the team to Baltimore for joint practices with the Ravens and the Rams’ first preseason game, McVay said after Saturday’s workout, the second in a row that Everett sat out.
McVay sounded cautiously optimistic after describing the injury as a sprain, but acknowledged concern that it could be more serious or difficult to play through because of the physical demands tight ends confront on every play.
“Fortunately, it’s not something right now that we felt like had to get fixed,” McVay said. “But until you really go through that process, you never know how it’s truly going to respond.”
The Rams averaged a league-best 29.9 points last season without big numbers by the tight ends, which accounted for only 49 of the team’s 320 receptions, and only three of 28 touchdown catches.
Everett, a second-round pick in 2017, caught only 16 passes as rookie, two for touchdowns. He said last week that his goal was to become more consistent and provide a red-zone threat. Now he must wait to show it.
Johnny Mundt, Henry Krieger-Coble and Cody McElroy, with a combined five games of NFL experience, are the other tight ends on the roster.
Armed and ready
Jared Goff enjoyed perhaps the best training-camp performance of his young career during a practice that lasted 2½ hours.
Goff’s performance was all the more impressive, McVay said, because many plays were unscripted and several were executed cleanly despite late communication from the play-caller.
“You felt that he was in total command,” McVay said.
Like defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is eager to see how it looks when he eventually lines up next to holdout Aaron Donald.
“There’s a situation that needs to be taken care of,” Suh said of the impasse between the Rams and Donald. “Hopefully, swiftly and he can get back to us and we can start working together. But in the meantime, I’ve got plenty of other teammates I’ve got to work with and get used to and make plays with.”
McVay said he was “not really sure” if Donald would report by Tuesday, the NFL deadline for the fourth-year pro who, if he fails to show, would lose a year of service toward becoming an unrestricted free agent.
McVay said he was scheduled to meet with front-office executives about the situation Saturday night.
“There really hasn’t been much progress in terms of the dialogue” since training camp began, McVay said, adding, “Certainly that deadline, I don’t really know exactly how they look at it, how we look at it. I just know that we want to try to find a way to get him here.”
Linebacker Matt Longacre was sidelined for a second consecutive practice because of a biceps injury and will not travel to Baltimore, McVay said. Safety Lamarcus Joyner sat out again because of an Achilles injury but will travel and is scheduled to practice against the Ravens, McVay said. … Suh said he was looking forward to the “pleasure” of getting work against veteran Ravens offensive guard Marshal Yanda. “A guy that I have ultimate respect for and love going against each and every single opportunity I get a chance to go against him,” Suh said. … The Rams waived linebacker Garrett Sickels and reached an injury settlement with receiver Aaron Lacombe.
Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein
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