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Preparing for a two-man battle

Case Keenum throws during a St. Louis Rams off-season workout on June 9, 2015, at Rams Park in Earth City, while Nick Foles (5) looks on. Interestingly enough, Keenum wears No. 7 for the Vikings this year, and Foles wears No. 9 for the Eagles. Seven and nine. Ring a bell, anyone? Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

Kimberly Keenum has this packing-and-moving thing down pat. Then again, the wife of Rams quarterback Case Keenum has had plenty of practice.

In less than a year, the young couple has moved from Houston to St. Louis, back to Houston and is now back in St. Louis after a March trade with the Texans that brought Keenum back to the Rams in exchange for a seventh-round draft choice in 2016.

“Hopefully, this time it’s a little more permanent,” Keenum said following a recent workout at Rams Park. “I felt like we did some good stuff last season. I like them and I think they like me. I’m glad they brought me back.”

Ironically, the Rams announced the deal to re-acquire Keenum on the same day as their blockbuster trade with Philadelphia that involved the swap of quarterbacks Nick Foles and Sam Bradford.

“I knew my deal was coming because I’d already talked about it with coach (Jeff) Fisher,” said Keenum, 27. “It was pretty funny, really. When the news broke about a quarterback trade, my first thought was, ‘Cool,’ and then, just a few seconds later, it was ‘Oh, wow.’”

Keenum, a Texas native who stands 6 foot 1 and weighs 205 pounds, was a prolific passer in the spread attack at the University of Houston. The three-time Conference USA offensive player of the year, Keenum is the only NCAA quarterback to throw for better than 5,000 yards in three seasons and holds NCAA career records for completions (1,546), passing yards (19,217), touchdowns (155) and 300-yard games (39).

Signed by the Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Keenum made his pro debut in the middle of the 2013, a week after the visiting Rams blew by the Texans 38-13. He made eight starts, all losses, while completing 54.2 percent of his passes for 1,760 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions.

Keenum was cut by the Texans at the end of training camp last season and claimed by the Rams. In St. Louis, he dressed for just one game but did not see action. He was inactive for six other contests before being cut in late October and re-signed to the practice squad.

With QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage out with injuries, the Texans signed Keenum off the Rams’ practice squad in mid-December. He ended up leading 9-7 Houston to victories over Baltimore (25-13) and Jacksonville (23-17) while completing 58.4 percent of his passes for 435 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

“If a few things had fallen just right, we could’ve ended up in the playoffs, made the tournament,” he said. “That would’ve added another chapter to what turned out to be a pretty crazy season for me.”

Keenum is excited about being back with the Rams and is relishing the opportunity to be with the club from the start of its offseason program.

“Last year, coming in right at the start of the season, I was trying to get a feel for that week’s game plan and, at the same time, trying to get a feel for what everybody else had been learning from Day 1,” he said. “But now, I’m going through the installs, just like everybody else. Now’s the time you build chemistry with the guys. You can talk to a receiver after a play, making sure that the two of you are seeing the same things out there.

“And it’s always nice to get regular reps, not just the scout-team reps.”

Fisher noted that Keenum never really got a chance to do much with the Rams last year.

“We really like Case,” the coach said shortly after the trade. “He was making progress, but didn’t get the opportunity from a practice standpoint because he was our third (QB).”

Fisher has said that Keenum and third-year pro Austin Davis would compete for the No. 2 job behind Foles. The Rams also selected Sean Mannion of Oregon State in the third round of the draft.

“We have a good quarterback room and that’s important,” Keenum said. “We’re all working together, supporting each other and trying to make the team better. Let’s face it, having four sets of eyes on the practice field or in the meeting room will always be better than one.”

RAM-BLINGS

Third-year safety T.J. McDonald has not participated in OTAs. Apparently, he suffered a leg injury.

“He’s coming off a little ordeal,” Fisher said. “He’ll be ready for camp. He had a little offseason issue.”

Others not participating Tuesday were receiver Damian Williams, defensive backs Mark Barron and Brandon McGee, offensive linemen Cody Wichmann and Steven Baker, tight end Alex Bayer and running back Todd Gurley, who continues to do rehab work on the side with the team trainers.

With both McDonald and Barron out, Maurice Alexander, the second-year pro from Eureka High, worked at safety with the starters.

The offense, which struggled last week, looked a bit sharper on Tuesday, but there were still way too many false starts and neutral-zone infractions.

• The Rams’ front office staff, players and cheerleaders will team with PHL, Inc., a local nonprofit, to resod the football field at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis Herbert Hoover location Wednesday in the team’s seventh annual community improvement project.