He’s not quite back yet, but Jalen Ramsey is getting close.
The Rams’ star cornerback underwent off-season shoulder surgery. Early in training camp, he worked primarily with coaches and helped coach teammates before returning to full-team training during the second half of the team’s stint at UC Irvine.
On Wednesday, Ramsey made another big step during a joint practice session with the Cincinnati Bengals.
That was evident when he burst in front of Bengal receiver Tee Higgins and interrupted a pass from quarterback Joe Burrow, narrowly missing on an interception and pick six.
“Not yet,” Ramsey said when asked if he was playing at full strength. “But I will be when the time is right.”
Practice between last season’s Super Bowl contestants gives Ramsey and other starters their only preseason opportunity to work against opponents other than teammates. The Rams and Bengals will practice again on Thursday before their final preseason game on Saturday night.
Ramsey, a three-time All-Pro, said he’s “just being cautious right now” as he prepares for the season that begins Sept. 8 against the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium.
The drills with the Bengals give Ramsey and other defensemen a chance to work against a receiving corps that includes Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd.
“This is as good as it gets,” McVay said of the Cincinnati pass catchers.
During the Rams’ 23-20 Super Bowl win. over the Bengals, Higgins grabbed Ramsey’s face mask before catching a 75-yard touchdown pass.
Ramsey faced Higgins and Chase multiple times Wednesday.
During a pause he also approached Burrow.
Was that just a visit?
“Yeah,” said Ramsey, “something like that.”
Quarterback Matthew Stafford looked sharp: Stafford showed no signs of a sore elbow. In the first 45 minutes of practice, which included seven-a-side drills inside the 20-yard line and full-team drills, not a single one of Stafford’s passes touched the ground.
During a stretch, he connected with receiver Cooper Kupp for touchdowns on back-to-back games.
“The ball comes out of the hand very nicely, has the same pepper on it,” said Kupp. “He’s still dragging the ball down the field so everything’s looking good from my side.”
Bengals safety Jessie Bates, who signed a franchise tender Tuesday, and cornerback Eli Apple were not training.
Receiver Tutu Atwell goes deep: During an intrasquad scrimmage last week, Stafford missed a long pass to the 5-foot-9, 165-pound atwell.
On Wednesday, Atwell passed defenders and pursued a perfectly thrown pass for a 50-yard gain.
Atwell had several other catches and continued his improved game from his rookie season.
recipient Allen Robinson Shorten timing with Stafford: Stafford threw no passes during offseason work and minicamp and was restricted during training camp.
So on Wednesday, Robinson caught passes from Stafford for the first time with players other than Rams defenders challenging him. Robinson made several hard catches and only missed a few others.
Rookie running back Kyren Williams continues: With Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson still unable to train at full speed due to injuries, Williams got a heavy workload. He ran hard and caught a lot of passes.
Akers and Henderson did reps during a walkthrough period mid-workout.
Linebacker Bobby Wagner fits well: Wagner, a six-time All-Pro, commanded the Rams defense and made several plays. The combination of Wagner and Ernest Jones gives defensive coordinator Raheem Morris flexibility.
The line of defense looked strong: There was no tackling or hitting from the quarterback, but Aaron Donald, Greg Gaines and other defensemen pressured Burrow. Edge rushers Leonard Floyd and Justin Hollins also came into the backfield.
Sean McVay’s influence is evident in the Bengals’ pace of training: Bengals coach Zac Taylor coached McVay’s Rams staff for two seasons and acknowledged that he leaned heavily on the structuring of training.
Taylor said he’s so busy leading up to the Super Bowl that he doesn’t have time to schedule joint practice sessions with other teams.
“We wouldn’t have practiced with anyone if Sean hadn’t called,” Taylor said. “Because most of the dance partners got caught when we went to the Super Bowl. … I thought the ship had sailed, and then Sean called and asked if they would be willing to come over here, if we would be willing to practice together, and I said, “Yes, we would like to.” ”
No player came to fights: In joint practices, there are often fights. But on a warm and muggy day, there was only a small flare-up between the linemen and it ended quickly.
“I think they’re two teams with a lot of character,” Taylor said before practice.
https://www.latimes.com/sports/rams/story/2022-08-24/rams-bengals-joint-practice-observations-jalen-ramsey-shoulder-update Rams-Bengals practice report; Jalen Ramsey shoulder update