Rams coach Sean McVay will have to wonder how much of Cam Newton he has to prepare for in the opener, after the Panthers quarterback suffered a mid-foot sprain last Thursday.
What he won’t have to worry about is his own players, since he has maintained his policy of protecting his own key offensive players during the preseason.
“You never want to see your main guys that you’re counting on get injured, especially in games where it’s really just tuneups for the regular season,” McVay said, via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. “Anytime you see great players like Cam or anybody else get injured, you always hate that. That’s always the most unfortunate part of the game.
“Whether it’s our guys or somebody else, you never want to see that.”
The Panthers are being generally optimistic about Newton’s condition, and the guy’s only missed five games in eight seasons, so there’s a reasonable expectation Newton will be out there for the opener.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff doesn’t have to worry about the risk, as McVay didn’t play him in the preseason last year or this year, a policy that’s easier to defend after they made the Super Bowl.
“We feel confident and comfortable with the approach we’re taking, and we understand that it might not be for everybody,” McVay said.
McVay is confident in bubble-wrapping his game plan as well. He doesn’t even call his own plays during the preseason, letting pass-game coordinator Shane Waldron take care of that during August.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to it in Carolina,” McVay said, “and hopefully I’m not rusty. . . .
“There will be no excuses coming from me if I’m not ready to go.”
Nor will there be any lingering questions about the health of his starters.