Case Keenum – Photo credit:Â Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Rough Week in St Louis
Rams 13 Ravens 16
By Kasey Mcknelly @Cmcknelly
Rams played very familiar Rams style football on the road in Baltimore on Sunday, taking a 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the last minutes of the game. The Rams continue to have the punishing defense but as the season has shown, the offense continues to not be able to get anything going.
Backup QB Case Keenum made his debut for the Rams on Sunday and was able to make a few more mobile plays.Â The ever rotating offensive line was not able to provide much protection for the quarterback, however. The Rams had an uncharacteristic 4 turnovers in the game and that is probably what put them in the losing column at the end of the day.
The biggest discussion again this week is not the play of the Rams defense or even the offense, it is the fact thatÂ Keenum took a hit that caused him to free fall to the turf where the back of his head bounced off the turf and he was unable to get himself off the field. Keenum was assisted off the turf by OG Garrett Reynolds. The first attempt was unsuccessful; Keenum was like a limp noodle and needed some extra time to collect himself. Apparently, starting/benched QB Nick Foles saw the hit and got his helmet and started warming up.
Head trainer Reggie Scott saw the hit and went to the field as the officials were discussing the offsides penalty of the Ravens. Scott was rushed back to the sideline by a referee so they could rule on the penalty or Rams would have to use an injury timeout, Keenum advised the trainer that he was â€œokâ€ (and clearly he was not). The questions then come into play as to why the ATC Spotter, who is independently employed by the NFL to protect the players in the event of an injury and has direct contact with the referee and the â€œpowerâ€ to stop the game, did not use that â€œpowerâ€ and stop the game.
There are 7 criteria that indicate there is a possibility a player is concussed and Keenum exhibited 6 of the signs. The NFL started an investigation. There was a phone call that included coaches and trainers from all teams and it seems from the statement that I read that they are â€œblamingâ€ the Rams trainer with no fault to the ATC Spotter.
The Rams trainer perhaps has a role. The ATC Spotter has full power and control to protect that player from himself in that situation and should have stopped the game and forced the team to evaluate him for a concussion. Keenum met the criteria the NFL set forth in their protocol. The NFL’sÂ independent personnel did nothing to protect the player, allowing him to remain in the game for at least 2 plays.
I donâ€™t think this is the end of the story as the league continues to focus on and improve player safety. I think that there were many factors that lead to this unfortunate ending. As of this story, Case Keenum is progressing well and is expected to make his second start on Sunday against the Bengals.
Away from the game, one of our St Louis Rams, WR Stedman Bailey, was the victim of a shooting in South Florida. Bailey was shot twice while in an SUV with family members. Bailey is listed in critical but stable condition and was expected to undergo surgery on Wednesday morning. Bailey is currently serving a four game suspension for violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to â€œSteddy Bâ€, his family and loved ones.
In good news for the Rams, second year DT Aaron Donald was nominated by the NFL for the second annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Isaac Bruce and Kurt Warner are all semi finalists for the 2016 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee class.
Congratulations and Good Luck to myÂ St Louis Rams!