Rams’ Sean McVay says coronavirus pandemic is driving him ‘crazy’

THOUSAND OAKS – The Rams returned to training on Thursday and as close to normal as 2020 will allow, after a player’s positive test for COVID-19 led them to cancel work on the field the previous day.

Coach Sean McVay said the team’s first fight with the virus in the season produced “ an increased sense of urgency and awareness, ” but the disruption was “ very minimal ” for a team used to meetings via video conferencing or in the spacious flysheet of their facility during the off season and training camp.

But McVay expressed frustration when the pandemic entered its ninth month and US deaths exceeded 250,000.

‘I’m telling you, I hate it. It goes against everything I believe and love about communicating with people, being able to have that kind of interaction, ”McVay said at a Zoom conference with reporters.

“I hope this ends sooner than later, because it will make us poor communicators. It will take away the essence of what’s good about humans if we don’t figure this out quickly. It makes me crazy.”

McVay added that he supports the protocols the NFL and the NFL Players Association have put in place to minimize infections, rules that have been tightened across the league during a surge in players’ positives in November.

‘I have no doubts about that. I wonder how crazy this is driving me because you can’t interact with people, and that’s what I love most, ”said McVay. ‘I hope we get to the bottom of this, especially for kids and things like that.

“I’m not downplaying the importance of following all those steps. I’m talking about this corona is for the birds, not the protocols. ”

On Wednesday, the Rams placed wide receiver JJ Koski, tight Kendall Blanton and defensive defender Jake Gervase – all members of their practice squad – on the reserve / COVID-19 list. The list is for players who tested positive or were in close contact with someone who did. It is not known which of those players tested positive.

The Rams were the penultimate NFL team to put a player on the COVID-19 reserve list, leaving the Seattle Seahawks the only one left to do so.

The positive test was taken Tuesday, the Rams said. The player has shown no symptoms, McVay said.

The team hasn’t had a positive test since, but McVay said it’s too early to be sure the infection hasn’t spread.

“You’re talking about maybe a week to feel real (secure) based on the information I have (had),” he said.

Quarterback Jared Goff said he wasn’t worried.

“It’s all about mitigation and how to prevent it from spreading,” Goff said. “I think we did pretty well.”

Defensive coordinator Brandon Staley said the closing of the practice facility on Wednesday did not hurt preparations for the Rams’ road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.

“We adapt and we adapt,” said Staley. “This year, one of our hallmarks with the Rams is to try and have great agility. This year is different from any of us, you, us, everything we’ve been through. ”