ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Rams’ adjustment to a short workweek has started pretty smoothly.
They come off a 19-13 victory over Seattle on Sunday relatively healthy and get a second consecutive home game for their Thursday night matchup with Arizona.
Coach Jeff Fisher said while there were obvious adjustments to the schedule — Monday’s practice was more typical of a Wednesday workout — the inconveniences were minor.
“The guys, they worked the soreness out and they’re ready to go,” he said. “By Thursday night, they’re excited to be able to play. It’s prime time and we hope things work out well for us.”
The Cardinals (4-0) are coming off a 24-21 overtime win against Miami on Sunday. It was the third time Arizona won by four or fewer points this season.
St. Louis defensive end Chris Long said the locker room had a different feel than normal after a victory. The Rams, like the Cardinals, were forced to turn their attention quickly from celebrating a victory to preparing for another game.
“Short weeks are less than ideal, but both teams are dealing with it,” he said. “It’s just going to be about who prepares better and who takes care of their bodies better and who adapts better.
“I’d like to think that we’ve got a lot of hard workers and smart guys in here, even though we have young guys, guys who are willing to make those sacrifices that will get you back to your equilibrium by Thursday.”
Every team will play a Thursday game this season, but few had predicted the importance of this matchup. Arizona is one of three undefeated teams in the league, along with Atlanta and Houston.
St. Louis (2-2) hasn’t been above .500 this deep in the season since 2006 when it was 4-1 after its fifth game en route to an 8-8 finish.
Cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who has never played a Thursday night game in his seven years, said the schedule already has proven demanding.
Typically teams watch film and get treatments for injuries and soreness on Monday and players get Tuesday off. The Rams were back at work Sunday night and moved right into field work on Monday.
The biggest positive for the Rams is the back-to-back games are at the Edward Jones Dome.
“That’s always the good thing,” he said. “You’d hate to have a game away and have your Thursday night away. You sort of look forward to it that it’s a home game and a chance to pack out the Dome.”
In the end, Fisher said, all of the schedule juggling, the sore bodies and other obstacles every team will face this season in preparation for their respective Thursday night games don’t matter.
“As I told them, yesterday was Wednesday, today is Thursday but it’s a Wednesday practice, tomorrow is Friday but it’s Tuesday,” he said smiling. “All that matters is the football, right?”