Austin Davis appeared to have the edge for the No. 2 quarterback job entering Thursday’s preseason finale at the Edward Jones Dome. But veteran Kellen Clemens stated his case against the Baltimore Ravens.
With Sam Bradford getting the night off along with several other Rams, Clemens started and played most of the first half. He completed 13 of 18 passes for 188 yards and a passer rating of 105.8.
Which was a far cry from the last time the Rams played here in the preseason — a 19-7 loss on Aug. 17. Clemens completed just two of 11 passes for 27 yards with two interceptions. That all added up to a passer rating of 0.0, which is as low as you can get.
He would have thrown for more than 200 yards in the half if not for two penalties that wiped out 32 yards in receptions.
“Yeah, Kellen did good,” coach Jeff Fisher after the Rams’ 24-21 victory. “He’s a little concerned about his modeling career after football because he broke his nose. But he came in and played well.”
Using his maneuverability to buy time in the pocket, Clemens’ favorite target was Brian Quick, who had five catches for 60 yards. Tavon Austin, one of the few starters to play on offense, had three catches for 26.
Meanwhile, Davis completed six of 13 passes for 50 yards, good for a passer rating of 96.2. The sixth completion was a 17-yard screen pass to Chase Reynolds, who made three tacklers miss en route to a touchdown that gave the Rams a 24-21 lead with 2 minutes 40 seconds to play.
Defensive end Chris Long did not dress for Thursday’s preseason finale against Baltimore. During the practice week, Fisher said Long was fine and Fisher reiterated that after the game. But Long did have his right leg wrapped in a sleeve and did not warm up with the team Saturday.
In addition, No. 4 cornerback Brandon McGee and likely No. 5 corner Quinton Pointer, who are both nicked up, did not dress. With the regular season just 10 days away, the Rams are taking all precautions to make sure as many players as possible are healthy for the Sept. 8 season opener against Arizona.
Also not dressing for the Rams: S Darian Stewart (hamstring), S Matt Giordano (calf), TE Cory Harkey (leg), DE Sammy Brown (calf), and OL Sean Hooey (ankle).
The only known injury Saturday came in the closing seconds of the game, when backup corner Darren Woodard came up lame covering a deep ball in an apparent hamstring injury.
Seeing his first game action since the 2012 regular-season finale, defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo returned to action Thursday, starting on a night when all four Rams starting defensive linemen got the night off.
“I talked to Coach ‘Wauf’ (defensive line coach Mike Waufle), he said he felt like he did pretty well,” Fisher said. “We didn’t play him very much.”
Baltimore’s coaching staff includes former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, now a senior defensive assistant. Ravens running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery served as Rams running backs coach, and for three seasons tight ends coach, during a nine-year tenure in St. Louis (1997-2005).
Spagnuolo was greeted by several Rams employees as he came out on the field during pregame warmups. He said he was happy in Baltimore, where his longtime friend John Harbaugh is head coach, and was glad his first time back in St. Louis since his Rams firing was for a preseason game.
The Ravens’ roster includes former Rams tight end Billy Bajema, and defensive tackle Brandon Williams, a St. Louisan who played at Rockwood Summit and was a third-round draft pick from Missouri Southern State.
The Rams own the Ravens . . . in August. Thursday marked the fourth Rams-Ravens preseason game, with all four played since 2008 and all four at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams have won all four.