St. Louis Rams

September 3, 2014

Robinson a backup on the line for now; Keenum tries to catch up

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher did not seem overly concerned Wednesday when asked about the second overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft being unable to crack the starting lineup for the season opener.

Greg Robinson, the 6-foot-5, 332-pound former Auburn star who has worked at guard and tackle throughout the preseason, is listed as the backup behind Rodger Saffold at left guard for Sunday's game against Minnesota.

He's also the backup at left tackle behind Jake Long.

"We made the decision that in the opener, we're better off going with experience," Fisher said. "It doesn't mean to say that he won't play in the game, but we're going to do with guys that have a lot of snaps under their belt right now."

Was trying to learn two positions a problem for Robinson?

"Nothing hurts him at all," Fisher said. "I was told (former Rams All-Pro tackle) Orlando Pace, the first player (taken) in the draft, didn't play until Week 5, so there's no issues with (Robinson)," Fisher said. "He's going to be an outstanding player. Our focus right now is putting the guys on the field that we think give us the best chance to win right now."

Cowboys sign Sam to practice squad

In arguably the most notoriety-filled addition to the practice squad of any NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys picked up former Rams draft pick Michael Sam on Wednesday and added him to their practice squad.

"I'm happy for Mike, I think that's a great decision by the Cowboys," Fisher said. "Based on what I've seen and heard they've got some issues on the defensive line and they've got injuries. I hope if Mike gets a chance maybe he can help them."

Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player and a seventh-round draft pick, was released by the Rams earlier this week. The Rams chose instead to keep undrafted defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks, the 2012 Division II Defensive Player of the Year out of West Texas A&M.

"He was very productive in the preseason for us and played all four spots," Fisher said of Westbrooks. "He is a very, very talented, young player that I think has a really good future."

Another QB in the mix

Working with the Rams on Wednesday and wearing No. 17 was quarterback Case Keenum, claimed on waivers Monday from the Houston Texans.

Cut loose by the Texans after they signed former Patriots backup Ryan Mallett, the former University of Houston star welcomed a fresh start with the Rams.

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford's second knee injury elevated backup Shaun Miller to starter status, so the 26-year-old Keenum will compete for time with backup Austin Davis and rookie Garrett Gilbert.

"I'm excited. I've been excited ever since I heard the word," said Keenum, who threw for 1,760 yards and nine touchdowns with six interceptions in eight starts last season for Houston. "It's kind of a whirlwind of a couple of days. I've already had two practices, so I'm excited to get in here and learn the system, do my best to contribute to the team."

Learning the system -- and learning it quickly -- can only enhance Keenum's chances,

"It's like speaking another language, so I'm just trying to learn another language as fast as I can," Keenum said. "I'm excited to be at a new place, to be outside of Texas, be out of my comfort zone and grow a little bit. It think they're team that's obviously got a lot of talented players and is headed in a great direction.

"I'm excited to be a part of it."

Fisher said the Rams are intrigued by Keenum's mix of youth and experience.

"Because of injury, Case got a lot of experience last year," Fisher said. "He started eight games. You look at the body of work and no, he didn't win any of those games but there were some really good things that you saw out of a young player.

"We spent a lot of time evaluating those games and we felt like he'd be a good option to come in here and try to develop as a (No.) 3 or a 2. We just wanted him in the mix."

Roster move

The Rams on Wednesday waived safety Matt Daniels and added former Alabama tight end Brad Smelley to the practice squad.

Injury report

While cornerback Trumaine Johnson (knee) and center Barrett Jones (back) remain out, the following Rams were listed as limited Wednesday on the NFL Injury Report: linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar (shoulder), defensive end William Hayes (chest), offensive tackle Jake Long (knee) and defensive end Eugene Sims (knee).

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or follow him on Twitter: @NormSanders

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