It sounds like head coach Zac Taylor has the Rams right where he wants them as he preps the Bengals for Monday night's Ring of Honor game (8:15-Cincinnati's Channel 5, ESPN) at Paycor Stadium.
Up in the air.
Pro Bowl quarterback Joe Burrow (calf) got the one limited practice Friday he said he needed in order to play in the game as he worked in full pads. But while he was limited, it can be deduced that since Jake Browning went full, Browning got more work.
Taylor is calling Burrow day-to-day and keeping it all close to the vest. On this day, Friday, one wide receiver (Tyler Boyd) said he expected Burrow to play. Another wide receiver (Ja'Marr Chase) said no, and doubts Burrow is 100 percent.
Up in the air.
Of course, Chase has been saying that for weeks now.
"If I had to guess, I'm saying no because I've been telling him no. My answer has never changed on that," Chase said after practice. "I told him back then (July 27), don't play until you're 100 percent ready to play."
Boyd, who has played more NFL games with Burrow than anybody else, says he's playing. But he also says they'll be OK if Browning makes his first NFL start.
"We got all the reps with him in the offseason. As long as he believes in himself and has confidence, we're good," said Boyd with running back Joe Mixon standing next to him. "Whoever is back there behind that center, we're OK because we've got four dogs behind him. Three receivers and you've got a bulldog (Mixon). Just throw the ball up."
Chase says it's "100 percent adversity," if Burrow doesn't play, but he's done enough work with Browning to be encouraged.
"When we had (the Burrow injury in preseason) I made sure I spoke up to the receivers in Tee Higg (Tee Higgins) and TB just to let them know we may not know what we have in the future, so we have to take advantage of the opportunity we're getting with Jake," Chase said. "When it's time and the game comes, we might have that slight more timing down than we did in camp. It might be just a bit better for us now."
Chase couldn't help notice Bengals president Mike Brown pull Burrow into his golf cart during stretching and take him for a brief spin and discussion that didn't last a minute.
"Usually he's just chilling back, just watching the practice, smiling, laughing. That was different," Chase said.
For the Rams it has to be up in the air.
JA'MARR GETS ONE-ON-ONE: The Bengals haven't taken advantage of Chase's one-on-one situations in the first two games (his longest catch is 13 yards), but he had a good one off the field this week with offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.
The day after last Sunday's Ravens game, Chase called for more Go balls. Why not? Here's a guy who has been named a Pro Bowler each of his two seasons in the league. In each of his previous two seasons he had a 100-yard game by now. But now he's got just 70 yards on 10 catches and he knows Callahan understands why he's frustrated.
"I respect Cali for that. Understanding my mind and where I want to be at," Chase said. "That's just me pushing myself to be a better person than I already am. Cali is lifting me from being hard on myself (the way I was) my rookie year. Cali is just letting me know to let the game come to me. Keep playing my game and they always try to find a way to get me the ball."
The conversation, Chase says, was basically basic.
"I just wanted to talk to Cali about what was going on and we just went back to basics," Chase said. "Same old stuff. Making sure we get our playmaker the ball in space. Take our shots when get the right defense and opportunity. Other than that, still take our shots. I'm a playmaker, 100 percent. I believe that in myself. Everyone on this team knows I'm a playmaker. That's my job to be a playmaker and I play this game with a lot of passion and when I don't make plays, I get on myself about it."
INJURY UPDATE: Starting tight end Irv Smith (hamstring) and backup linebacker and special teams ace Akeem Davis-Gaither (knee) appeared to come up with injuries Friday. They surfaced on the injury report as limited.
Starting safety Nick Scott emerged fully from concussion protocol. Pass rusher Joseph Ossai (ankle) went full for a second straight day and backup safety Tycen Anderson (calf) returned to full.