Rams News: Sean McVay Discusses Challenges Of Training Camp & Preseason This Year
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this offseason has been an unconventional one for the Los Angeles Rams and all other NFL teams.

The Rams have been forced to conduct all of their meetings and workouts virtually, although a return to the field could be just around the corner.

L.A.’s coaching staff is set to return to offices on an optional basis this week, and Sean McVay revealed that he has targeted July 23 for rookies and July 28 for veterans for the start of training camp.

Training camp will be different for the Rams this year than years past as the league is forcing them to hold it at their practice facility as opposed to UC Irvine. Additionally, the Rams had scheduled joint practices with the New Orleans Saints before the two teams meet in the preseason opener, although those have since been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Typically, McVay doesn’t play any of his starters during the preseason. But without the luxury of joint practices to get those extra reps in a game environment, McVay may consider using the preseason for that instead, via Cameron DaSilva of USA Today:

“The thing that definitely comes into play is the inability to practice against other teams, which we’ve loved to be able to use as an opportunity to say, let’s create a competitive atmosphere and environment while limiting the risk for injuries,” he told reporters Thursday. “Whether it’s two [games], whether it’s four, I definitely think committing to one approach right now wouldn’t be the smartest way to go about it. I think guys need to get work. How we deem that ends up getting done, whether it’s in our practices or whether we’re going to play guys in the preseason will be something that we’ll determine at a later date.”

It was recently reported that the NFL is considering shortening the preseason from four to two games, which would give teams even fewer reps to get prepared for Week 1.

While it would be surprising to see Jared Goff, Aaron Donald and the Rams’ other stars playing in the preseason, with such a stacked NFC West division, the Rams can’t afford to come out of the gate cold in 2020.

Additionally, with so many coaching and roster changes this offseason, the Rams will need as many reps as possible, which they haven’t been afforded this offseason due to the pandemic. That puts McVay in a tough spot, although he has proven time and time again that he knows what’s best for his players.