Rams can­cel prac­tice amid fires, evac­u­a­tions

The Fresno Bee - - Sports - BY GREG BEACHAM

The Los An­ge­les Rams can­celed prac­tice Fri­day af­ter a wild­fire forced about 20 play­ers and coaches to evac­u­ate their homes.

The Rams (8-1) will cram their nor­mal Fri­day prepa­ra­tions into a work­out at the Univer­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia on Satur­day be­fore they face the Seat­tle Sea­hawks at the Coli­seum on Sun­day.

Just one day af­ter the Rams were stunned by a mass shooting re­sulted in 13 deaths less than 5 miles from their train­ing com­plex in Thou­sand Oaks, they were forced to make big changes in their nor­mal game-week rou­tine by two wild­fires burn­ing in Ven­tura and Los An­ge­les coun­ties.

“I don’t think any­body’s house has been specif­i­cally af­fected, but they did have to leave the ar­eas,” coach Sean McVay said. “It’s still a scary thing, and extremely un­for­tu­nate that they had to go through this. … We just felt like the most im­por­tant thing was for peo­ple to be with their fam­i­lies.”

About 45 Rams em­ploy­ees were evac­u­ated from neigh­bor­hoods south of the Rams’ train­ing com­plex, al­though McVay doesn’t be­lieve any homes have been lost. Those forced to leave their homes Fri­day in­cluded de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Wade Phillips and de­fen­sive line coach Bill John­son.

Some of the evac­uees moved early into the down­town ho­tel used by the Rams on the night be­fore games. McVay will hold morn­ing meet­ings at the ho­tel Satur­day, fol­lowed by a prac­tice at USC.

The Rams al­ready in­stalled most of their game plan for the Sea­hawks, McVay said. On Satur­day, his team will fol­low a plan that they used in Septem­ber dur­ing their short week of prepa­ra­tion for a Thurs­day night game against Min­nesota.

“Hope­fully things will get un­der con­trol in the next day, and then we'll get our work done (Satur­day) in a lit­tle bit of a con­densed fash­ion,” McVay said. “But our guys have al­ways been able to ad­just and adapt in a good way.”


Smoke from the Woolsey Fire looms above High­way 101 in Thou­sand Oaks, Calif., on Fri­day. The Los An­ge­les Rams, who prac­tice at nearby Cal Lutheran Univer­sity, nixed prac­tice Fri­day be­cause play­ers and staff mem­bers were forced to leave their homes.

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