Rams coach Fisher makes final decisions on roster

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher has one preseason game left and plenty of work to do.

The Rams host the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday as the NFL closes out the preseason with a full slate of games.

“We’re going to have to put shoulder pads on and work on some things,” Fisher said Sunday. “So, the focus is going to be on the practice session rather than on preparing for the game.”

The Rams began informing players who failed to make the team ahead of Tuesday’s roster deadline of 75 players. Teams need to be at the regular-season mark of 53 roster players Saturday.

That provides little time for those on the cusp to make a good impression and earn a spot.

Fisher said playing Saturday at Denver provided an upside for conditioning and evaluating how his players dealt with the higher altitude. He said there were plenty of positives coming out of the 27-26 loss, the Rams’ third in three preseason games, to help him make decisions.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, Baltimore likely won’t give the Rams a chance to line up against its top playmakers for long.

“Obviously, our opponent is looking at it a little differently because they play a week from Thursday,” Fisher said. “It’s reasonable to assume they’re probably going to rest some key players because they play seven days from then.”

The defending Super Bowl champions open the regular season Sept. 5 at Denver.

He said he was pleased overall with his team’s effort against the Broncos in all three phases of the game, at least in the first half when his starters were playing.

St. Louis held a 20-10 lead at halftime, scoring on offense (quarterback Sam Bradford connected with Jared Cook for a 3-yard touchdown), defense (Alex Ogletree forced a fumble and returned it 13 yards for a score) and special teams (kicker Greg Zuerlein connected from 35 and 58 yards).

The second half didn’t go quite as well. The Rams looked at film Sunday as they began to develop a game plan against the Ravens.

Fisher said he and his coaching staff haven’t decided on who will play and how much, but those decisions come down to a simple formula.

“We’re going to play the guys who need to play. We’re going to let them play,” Fisher said. “Then, if we feel guys have had adequate snaps throughout the preseason, we may back down a little bit.”

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