Rams quarterback Blake Bortles expected to make start again in Hawaii against the Cowboys

Rams quarterback Blake Bortles looks to pass against the Oakland Raiders during the first half on Saturday in Oakland.
(D. Ross Cameron / Associated Press)

Many established Rams players might not make the trip to Hawaii for a preseason game against the Cowboys, but quarterback Blake Bortles still provides some marquee value.

Bortles, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ starter for five seasons before signing with the Rams to be Jared Goff’s backup, played the first two series against the Oakland Raiders, and he is expected to start again Saturday at Aloha Stadium.

“He’s been making great decisions,” coach Sean McVay said Wednesday. “I think he’s getting a great command on what we’re trying to do.”


Bortles completed three of eight passes for 50 yards in the 14-3 defeat by the Raiders. But his statistics did not tell the whole story: Two passes were dropped and another was knocked out of the hands of a receiver.

Bortles was unfazed.

“Nothing you can do about it,” he said after the game. “You pick the guy up, and make sure that he knows you got confidence in him, and you’ll give him another chance when your opportunity presents itself.”

Todd Gurley and other Los Angeles Rams starters almost certainly will not travel to Hawaii with the team for Saturday’s game versus the Cowboys.

Aug. 13, 2019

With McVay not playing starters in preseason games, Goff watched Bortles from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum sideline and again on tape.

“Blake looked great,” Goff said Wednesday. “He moved the ball around, and got off the spot well, made completions and moved the ball down the field.”

Whether Goff is there to witness Bortles’ second game remains to be determined.

On Tuesday, McVay said it was “more likely than not” that star running back Todd Gurley would not make the trip, which includes a near-six hour flight to Honolulu on Thursday afternoon.

Asked Wednesday whether he had determined who else would stay home, McVay said the Rams were “working through” that decision.


“We’ll have the finality before we end up getting on that flight,” McVay said.

Said Goff: “Whatever Sean decides and the team decides, we’re good with.”


Cornerback Aqib Talib sat out practice again because of what McVay has described as a ‘soft-tissue injury.” … The Rams will practice Thursday morning and then depart for Hawaii.