Offense dragging down Rams, who have lost 3 straight
ST. LOUIS (AP) Not too long ago, the St. Louis Rams thought they were a playoff contender.
Now, they're fading fast.
The Rams (4-6) have lost three in a row, putting their bid to end the franchise's run of 11 consecutive seasons without a winning record in jeopardy.
''We'll get them back,'' coach Jeff Fisher said Monday, a day after a last-second loss at Baltimore. ''They played hard, we'll get them back.''
Next on the schedule comes a pair of 8-2 teams, Cincinnati on the road this week followed by Arizona at home.
The defense has been in the top 10 most of the season, although it fell to 12th after allowing 155 yards in the fourth quarter Sunday.
St. Louis has struggled all season on offense, ranked 31st overall ahead of only the 49ers and with the league's worst passing attack, averaging just 173.9 yards.
The Rams are next to last in scoring, totaling 19 touchdowns.
''We're a team, we don't split up,'' safety T.J. McDonald said. ''We've all got to step up.''
Replacement quarterback Case Keenum wasn't able to spark an improvement at Baltimore, going 12 for 26 for 136 yards. Fisher had been counting on giving Keenum another full week of practice to get acclimated, but Keenum begins the week in the concussion protocol.
''We'll see how he is tomorrow,'' Fisher said. ''He watched the tape. He's feeling better.''
Todd Gurley is fourth in the NFL with 775 yards rushing along with a 5-yard average. But defenses have started to key on the rookie and he's been held to 200 yards with a 3.2-yard average the past three games, plus he had a key lost fumble down the stretch against the Ravens.
''We've just got to execute,'' Gurley said. ''I didn't play well at all, putting the ball on the ground.''
St. Louis has been hit hard by injuries on the offensive line, with only left tackle Greg Robinson and center Tim Barnes starting every game. They've had three starters at left guard, right guard and right tackle and have been leaning on untested rookies.
Veteran Garrett Reynolds is a key player going forward, moving to right tackle after one of the rookies, Andrew Donnal was sidelined with a left MCL knee sprain.
The Rams had feared Donnal's injury was much more serious. Fisher also said cornerback Trumaine Johnson's quadriceps injury is ''not significant.''
Fisher said backup running back Tre Mason would return this week after being suspended for missing the team bus to the airport on Friday. Mason and rookie Isaiah Battle both were late, although they arrived in time for the flight.
Mason was the Rams' leading rusher as a rookie with 765 yards and a 4.3-yard average. This season, he has 129 yards with a 2.9-yard average.
''I'm just disappointed that he missed the bus for whatever reason,'' Fisher said. ''He's going to play this week. He's had a couple good weeks of practice.''
Fisher indicated that Battle probably wouldn't have been on the game-day roster on Sunday.
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- Andrew Donnal
- Case Keenum
- Garrett Reynolds
- Greg Robinson
- Isaiah Battle
- Los Angeles Rams
- T.J. McDonald
- Tim Barnes
- Todd Gurley II
- Tre Mason