Rams punter Corey Bojorquez homes in on roster spot

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THOUSAND OAKS — Corey Bojorquez came up done Mayfair High School successful Lakewood and Cerritos College successful Norwalk, and his household lives successful Bellflower, punting region from SoFi Stadium.

So winning a spot connected the Rams’ roster would beryllium ideal.

“My household could travel to much games,” said Bojorquez (pronounced buh-hor-kez).

That’s a possibility. Bojorquez has been booming left-footed punts successful his archetypal Rams grooming camp. The Rams could determine to support him connected a one-year, $1.02 cardinal contract, and chopped escaped Johnny Hekker earlier the 3rd twelvemonth of a five-year, $18.8 cardinal contract, the NFL’s biggest astatine the position.

But Bojorquez won’t beryllium disconsolate adjacent if the Rams determine to instrumentality with Hekker.

He’s assured he’ll onshore a occupation determination else, and that he’ll beryllium an improved punter arsenic a effect of his little homecoming.

Last April, the Buffalo Bills declined to re-sign Bojorquez contempt a league-best 50.8-yard punting mean successful 2020, and the Rams offered a cozy landing spot.

“This was an accidental present for maine to, astatine the precise least, larn from idiosyncratic who has done it exceptionally good for going into his 10th year,” Bojorquez, 24, said of Hekker, 31, successful an interrogation aft signifier Tuesday. “I knew coming present would astatine the slightest marque maine a amended punter if I extremity up determination else. A win-win situation.”

He thinks helium has learned from Hekker, who is coming disconnected a career-low 45.6-yard mean past play but had a batch to thatch his young teammate astir directional punting and stopping the shot adjacent to the extremity line.

“(I’ve been) learning antithetic kinds of punts that I’ve ne'er tried before, that helium does,” Bojorquez said.

He said helium has tried to absorption connected that portion of wherefore helium signed with the Rams, and not astir the anticipation of displacing a four-time All-Pro.

“I deliberation erstwhile guys commencement thinking, ‘How americium I doing compared to this guy?’ it gets into their caput a small excessively much,” Bojorquez said. “I conscionable effort to absorption connected ‘Am I getting better?’ And I deliberation I person been.”

Rams coaches person said thing to bespeak Hekker won’t beryllium their punter.

But Hekker has said since outpouring workouts successful June that he considers himself to beryllium successful competition with Bojorquez.

“If you’re not competing during grooming camp, you’re not successful the close headspace and you’re not going to advancement and beryllium your champion erstwhile September rolls around,” Hekker said earlier this month. “Corey’s a very, precise talented punter.

“At the extremity of the day, the world is that teams lone transportation 1 (punter), truthful I deliberation whichever 1 of america is going to beryllium punting for the Rams, the different 1 is going to get picked up precise soon thereafter.”

A complicating origin successful the contention came up Saturday erstwhile Hekker and Bojorquez were some placed connected the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve database aft Hekker tested affirmative and Bojorquez was identified arsenic a adjacent contact, according to Coach Sean McVay.

Kicker Matt Gay stepped successful arsenic punter during the Rams’ 17-16 preseason nonaccomplishment to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Bojorquez was activated Tuesday. Hekker remained connected the COVID-19 list.

The reply to which of them volition extremity up connected the season-opening roster mightiness not travel until adjacent Tuesday, erstwhile NFL teams indispensable trim their rosters to 53.

It could beryllium a tense clip for Bojorquez. But he’s utilized to accelerated changes. He was a precocious schoolhouse shot midfielder, shot pitcher and shot kicker-punter who committed to punting successful his elder twelvemonth astatine Mayfair, past parlayed an All-America play astatine Cerritos College into 2 seasons astatine New Mexico, ranking 4th successful the federation with a 47.3-yard punting mean arsenic a senior.

Signed by the New England Patriots arsenic an undrafted rookie, Bojorquez thought he’d made their signifier squad, but the Bills claimed him disconnected waivers.

“The adjacent happening I’m connected a formation to Buffalo,” helium said. “You benignant of get utilized to not being excessively set.”

HEALTH DEPARTMENT

The Rams are watching respective injuries:

• Running backmost Darrell Henderson practiced, taking handoffs and catching passes with his close hand, wearing a formed connected his near thumb aft spraining it Monday. “With Darrell, I deliberation it is important to get him retired here,” McVay said, suggesting the third-year pro needs signifier reps successful the offense.

• At extracurricular linebacker, Terrell Lewis (knee) returned to practice, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (shoulder) was out, and McVay said Leonard Floyd (ankle) should beryllium backmost successful a mates of days. “It’s bully to beryllium capable to get (Lewis) backmost retired here,” McVay said of the Rams’ 2020 third-round draught pick. “It’s benignant of a day-to-day thing, truthful we’ll spot however his genu responds to getting a small much work. Hopefully it doesn’t flare up.”

• Wide receiver DeSean Jackson doesn’t look to beryllium injured, but helium was retired of signifier Tuesday, and McVay said the 34-year-old has arranged a docket with coaches and trainers to person him acceptable for the play opener Sept. 12. “He knows erstwhile to crook it on,” McVay said of Jackson. “You know, erstwhile helium runs, helium gets truthful overmuch enactment in, wherever he’s truly accumulating high-speed yards, and truthful we privation to beryllium astute with him.”

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