The Rams’ preseason game against the Denver Broncos on Saturday will be their first appearance at the Coliseum since their playoff victory over the Dallas Cowboys last season.
Quarterback Jared Goff won’t play, but he has a stake in the newly renovated facility. Goff said Wednesday that he and receiver Cooper Kupp bought a stadium suite for the season.
“I’m excited to go up there and see it,” he said.
This season Goff is scheduled to earn $4.3 million, and carries a salary-cap number of $8.9 million, in the fourth year of his rookie contract. The Rams have exercised their fifth-year option for 2020, which would pay Goff nearly $23 million.
But the Rams and Goff could agree to terms on a new contract before then.
In June, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz signed a $128-million extension with $107.9 guaranteed. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, entering the final season of his contract, is reportedly seeking more than $30 million per season.
“I hope Dak gets as much as he can and good for him,” Goff said last week. “I’m a friend of Dak’s and wish him nothing but the best.”
Rams General Manager Les Snead has said, “It’s not a matter of if, it’s just when,” the Rams sign Goff to an extension.
Whenever that day comes, Goff will be positioned for larger investments. Has he purchased a suite at the Rams’ new Inglewood Stadium that is scheduled to open for the 2020 season?
“They did sell those big ones,” he said Wednesday, laughing, “but I didn’t buy one of those.”
For the second year in a row, Goff is on track to start the season without having taken a snap in a preseason game.
Coach Sean McVay wants Goff — and other starters and key players — to go into the Sept. 8 opener at the Carolina Panthers with no injuries.
That strategy worked well for Goff last season.
In the opener against the Oakland Raiders, he completed 18 of 33 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns, without an interception, in a 33-13 victory. He led the Rams to a 13-3 record and won two playoff games before the Rams lost to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl 13-3.
Goff was voted to the Pro Bowl for the second season in a row.
So Goff is not concerned about repeating McVay’s preseason process, which has included joint practices with the Raiders and Chargers but will once again be devoid of situations with a live rush that includes tackling.
Goff acknowledged there was “no substitute” for those live rush situations, but he is not worried about it.
“I’m excited to get hit, I guess ... get that first one out of the way,” he said, “but I’ll be fine.”
In last year’s third preseason game, McVay planned to play the starting offense and defense for a series or two against the Houston Texans. But with two Rams starting offensive linemen inactive for the game to avoid injuries, and another nursing an ankle injury, McVay nixed his plan after taking into account that the Texans would play elite pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt. The Rams starting offense stayed on the sideline. The defense played seven plays.
During this preseason, nearly every Rams starter on offense and defense was held out against the Raiders and the Cowboys.
That won’t change against the Broncos, especially in the wake of a pectoral injury suffered by inside linebacker Micah Kiser against the Cowboys in Honolulu. Kiser appeared on track to win a starting job but will be sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery Tuesday.
So McVay is sticking to his plan.
“When you look at some of the continuity now that we have on both sides of the ball coming back and you say, ‘OK, if something were to happen is it really worth that risk in our mind?’
“And we just felt like that answer is no.”
McVay said Kiser would be sidelined for “a long period of time,” but the Rams had not determined whether he would be placed on injured reserve. “That’s an unfortunate thing that happened to a great player,” McVay said. “If there’s anybody that you know is going to handle it the right way in terms of attacking the rehab — like we talk about letting these setbacks be setups for comebacks — it’s going to Micah Kiser.”… The Rams held a short practice Wednesday in advance of a longer workout scheduled for Thursday.