Rams make contingency plans in case air quality from fires affects ability to practice

Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Football

LOS ANGELES--The Los Angeles Rams are making contingency plans if the Southern California fires continue to affect air quality that prevents them from practicing at their Thousand Oaks facility in preparation for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Coliseum.

On Wednesday, a day after smoke and ash were in the air, the conditions were clear and breezy. The Rams went through an extended walk-through but did not practice. They are scheduled to practice Thursday at their facility, the team announced Wednesday night.

Coach Sean McVay said the team has arranged to work out at USC in the days ahead if it is determined that the air quality in Ventura County remains unhealthful for players.

"Seems like if things continue to improve, we'll be able to go about our normal operating procedure and be out there," McVay said. "If not, we have some contingency plans in place."

Helping out

Punter Johnny Hekker woke up, saw the devastation caused by the Thomas fire in Ventura County, and wanted to help.

Hekker and his wife, Makayla, spent part of Tuesday at a Target store in Newbury Park buying supplies, and then delivered them to a shelter at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

"We are all in it together," Hekker said. "It's a real situation where we can kind of all rally around one another and try to lift the spirits of these people who have lost everything that they knew."


Hekker moved to Ventura County when the Rams relocated from St. Louis to Los Angeles before the 2016 season. Neither Hekker's home, nor those of teammates, coaches or staff members, has been affected by the fire.

"If we can do anything with our platform to give back to them in this crisis," he said of those in need, "then that's what we're here for."

Etc ...

Linebacker Alec Ogletree (elbow) is progressing and "putting himself in a position to be ready to go this week," McVay said. Running back Malcolm Brown (knee) also is expected to return ... . Ejuan Price, a seventh-round draft pick who was waived last week, was signed to the practice squad. Linebacker Cameron Lynch also was signed to the practice squad.

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