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Rams excited to finally test SoFi Stadium field with scrimmage on Saturday

SoFi Stadium
The Rams finally will step onto the turf inside SoFi Stadium, now completed and ready for action.
(Kirby Lee / Associated Press)

Rams players finally will be on the field at brand-new SoFi Stadium. But as with most things in the COVID-19 era, not when originally planned.

If the pandemic had not altered the run-up to the NFL season, the Rams would have played a preseason game last week against the New Orleans Saints at the $5-billion venue in Inglewood. They would have prepared this week to play there against the Chargers, their co-tenant.

Instead, with the Sept. 13 opener against the Dallas Cowboys looming in three weeks, the Rams’ first time playing football at the stadium will be during a practice Saturday that will include scrimmage elements.

Players are eager to get into the stadium to test the synthetic turf surface.

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“For it to finally be here is exciting for us,” offensive lineman Brian Allen said Friday during a videoconference with reporters.

Coach Sean McVay said the offense would run 65 to 70 plays during situational periods. There also will be special teams periods and time set aside for “some live ball” to evaluate younger players, McVay said.

Rams cornerbck Jalen Ramsey likes what he sees in fellow Florida State alum, rookie running back Cam Akers.

Inside linebacker Micah Kiser last visited the stadium site in 2018, when the entire team was given a tour of the construction.

He is looking forward to the return.

“Just get in there, feel the vibes,” Kiser said, “Like, see if we can [be] calm and play together and communicate like its game day.

“It will be a real good test to see where we are right now.”

The Rams and Chargers originally were supposed to christen SoFi Stadium in August.
(Twitter / @RamsNFL)

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Since their return to Los Angeles from St. Louis in 2016, the Rams played at the Coliseum with an eye toward a grand opening of the new stadium. But NFL teams are planning to play games with no fans or a limited number in attendance. The Rams have not announced their plan for the opener.

Offensive lineman Joe Noteboom said Saturday’s practice will serve as an introduction to the setting.

“This is what it’s going to feel like,” Noteboom said about playing without fans on hand. “It’s going to be the exact same atmosphere.”

The Rams are practicing in earnest for the 2020 NFL season, and there are plenty of position battles for coach Sean McVay to judge in the weeks ahead.

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Most of the starting jobs on offense and defense are settled. But there remains competition at running back, the offensive line, inside linebacker and slot cornerback.

Kickers Lirim Hajrullahu, Austin MacGinnis and seventh-round draft pick Sam Sloman are competing to replace Greg Zuerlein, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

Etc.

Cornerback Jalen Ramsey intercepted a long Jared Goff pass intended for Robert Woods. Ramsey also broke up another pass. … Rookie safety Jordan Fuller closed quickly to break up a pass by backup quarterback John Wolford. ... McVay ended practice after the second-team offense failed to get a play off during a two-minute drill. “We had a lot of guys that panicked, frankly, and so those are situations that you never want to see on one side of the football, and that’s where guys have to learn from it and that’s part of why you practice. Those things will not be tolerated from us and it’s not good enough. But, great job by the defense.”


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