2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Sam gets last chance at Rams' preseason impression

By TIM REYNOLDS - AP Sports Writer
    2014-08-27 17:54

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - Michael Sam is about to get one last chance to show the St. Louis Rams why he belongs on their 53-man roster.

For him - and everyone else on NFL roster bubbles - a preseason finale is anything but meaningless.

Sam and the Rams visit the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night, the last exhibition for both clubs and the last opportunity for players to state their cases before teams pare down their rosters to the NFL-mandated 53 by Saturday afternoon.

''I will be playing a lot more,'' Sam told the Rams' web site in a videotaped interview.

And that means he will have plenty of snaps to make one last impression. Starters are typically held out of preseason finales in most cases to avoid injury issues, and it's a virtual certainty that the Rams and Dolphins will be giving many of their first-stringers the night off.

So for those not assured of spots on the team, opportunity knocks. For the Dolphins, the biggest chance might be the one that'll be presented to running back Daniel Thomas, who hasn't appeared yet in the preseason because of a hamstring issue.

Thomas will play Thursday, and his spot on Miami's 53 is hardly assured.

''I feel like I have a lot to prove,'' Thomas said.

He's not alone.

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin wouldn't say how many spots on that 53-man roster are locked up going into Thursday night - and wouldn't divulge how many starters will sit, either, but it's a safe bet that quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be getting the night off.

''We're still making decisions on who's going to be the final members of this team,'' Philbin said. ''It's an opportunity for these guys to show us what they're capable of doing in that game setting. . We'll have one more opportunity for that and they need to take advantage of it.''

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford wouldn't have played for St. Louis in this game, either. Now he won't be playing for the entire season, with another tear to the ACL in his left knee ending the 2014 campaign before it could officially start.

Shaun Hill is now the Rams' starter, and it's not clear how much work St. Louis will want him to get Thursday, if any.

''He's disappointed for Sam,'' Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. ''That's where his heart's at right now because he knows how hard he worked.''

The Rams could also go out and swing a trade, but Fisher was adamant this week that Hill has the job.

''We're sticking with this,'' Fisher said. ''There's no doubt about that. . There's no doubt that he's our guy.''

Sam doesn't have that same assurance.

The NFL's first openly gay player is battling for a spot on St. Louis' defensive line, which just happens to be a position where the Rams are extremely deep. Sam has shown some flashes of great potential - his sacks of Johnny Manziel against Cleveland last week maybe foremost among them - but knows those plays alone won't win him a job.

''I've got to get better every week,'' Sam said.

Such is the mantra for bubble guys. If they don't get better this week, they might be looking for work next week.

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Travis KelceSep 1 03:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (ankle) would be able to play if the Chiefs had a game Tuesday, Sept. 1, according to head coach Andy Reid. Kelce is recovering from an ankle sprain.

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 03:03p

Carolina Panthers WRs Jarrett Boykin and De'Andre Presley were waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jace AmaroSep 1 01:33p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (shoulder) will have season-ending shoulder surgery and will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Erik LorigSep 1 12:33p

New Orleans Saints FB Erik Lorig was cut Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Nathan PalmerSep 1 11:53a

Denver Broncos WR Nathan Palmer was waived Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Devonta FreemanSep 1 11:32a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman was the most active in practice Monday, Aug. 31, that he was been since a hamstring injury Aug. 6. It's unclear whether he'll play [ More ]

Jarrett BoykinSep 1 10:33a

Carolina Panthers WR Jarrett Boykin was released Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Jalen SaundersSep 1 09:13a

New Orleans Saints WR Jalen Saunders is being traded to the New England Patriots Tuesday, Sept. 1, for a conditional draft pick, according to a league source.

Caleb SturgisAug 31 11:32p

Miami Dolphins PK Caleb Sturgis remains the front runner in his competition with PK Andrew Franks. Sturgis said he did not have a good early camp, 'but I've been hitting the ball better lately.'

K. ThompkinsAug 31 07:52p

Oakland Raiders WR Kenbrell Thompkins was released Monday, Aug. 31, according to a source.

Trent RichardsonAug 31 07:22p

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson was released Monday, Aug. 31, according to a source.

Josh BoyceAug 31 06:42p

New England Patriots WR Josh Boyce and TE Jimmay Mundine were released Monday, Aug. 31.

E.J. GainesAug 31 05:52p

St. Louis Rams CB E.J. Gaines (foot) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Aug. 31. WR Damian Williams was subsequently released.

Travis KelceAug 31 05:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (leg) left practice early Monday, Aug. 31, because of a right leg injury. Kelce was able to walk off the field but did not return to practice.

Brad SmelleyAug 31 05:32p

St. Louis Rams WR Tyler Slavin was waived and TE Brad Smelley (undisclosed) was waived/injured Monday, Aug. 31.

Julius ThomasAug 31 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (finger) is expected to need surgery on a tendon in his finger and is expected to be out four to five weeks, according to [ More ]

Garrett HartleyAug 31 04:32p

Pittsburgh Steelers PK Garrett Hartley (hamstring) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Aug. 31.

Kevin NorwoodAug 31 04:32p

Seattle Seahawks WR Kevin Norwood was traded to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a conditional draft pick, according to a source.

Martavis BryantAug 31 04:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant's appeal of his suspension has been denied, and he will sit out the first four games of the regular season.

Phil BatesAug 31 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys WR Phil Bates was released Monday, Aug. 31.

Alan BonnerAug 31 03:12p

Houston Texans WRs Alan Bonner and Travis Labhart were released Monday, Aug. 31.

Joique BellAug 31 02:42p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') was activated from the Phyiscally Unable to Perform list Monday, Aug. 31.

DeVante ParkerAug 31 01:32p

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (foot) said he is making progress in his recovery from foot surgery but would not say if he will be ready for the start of the regular season.

Kirk CousinsAug 31 12:52p

Updating an earlier report, Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins will be the starting quarterback moving forward, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden said 'it's Kirk's team.'

Victor CruzAug 31 12:22p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf, knee) still hasn't received clearance to practice Monday, Aug. 31. Cruz said that the inflammation has gone down and that the team [ More ]

Aldrick RobinsonAug 31 12:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR DeAndre Carter, WR Aldrick Robinson and WR Trent Steelman were cut Monday, Aug. 31.

Tyrod TaylorAug 31 11:42a

Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was named the starting quarterback Monday, Aug. 31, over QB Matt Cassel an QB EJ Manuel.

Devin FunchessAug 31 11:22a

Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess (hamstring) left practice Monday, Aug. 31, with hamstring tightness.

Jeremy StewartAug 31 10:52a

Denver Broncos QB Zac Dysert, TE Joe Don Duncan, TE Jake Murphy and RB Jeremy Stewart were waived Monday, Aug. 31. TE Jeff Heuerman (knee) was placed on Injured Reserve.

Josh ScobeeAug 31 10:42a

Jacksonville Jaguars PK Josh Scobee was acquired by the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday, Aug. 31.

Fred JacksonAug 31 10:42a

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson was released Monday, Aug. 31. He was slated to make $2.35 million this year and wasn't asked to take a pay cut.

Jalen ParmeleAug 31 10:22a

Cleveland Browns RB Jalen Parmele, TE Anthony Ezeakunne and WR Shane Wynn were cut Monday, Aug. 31.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group