Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ram Notes: Battle Hopes to Replace Injured 'Brothers' on O-Line

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ram Notes: Battle Hopes to Replace Injured 'Brothers' on O-Line

Article excerpt

It's not exactly the way he wanted it to happen, but Rams rookie tackle Isaiah Battle has been added to the 53-man roster.

Battle's promotion from the practice squad was tied to two other rookie offensive linemen, starting guard Jamon Brown (fractured lower leg) and reserve tackle Darrell Williams (dislocated wrist) being placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday.

"I feel bad for them, they're my brothers and you never want to see anybody else get hurt," Battle said following Tuesday's practice at Rams Park. "But this is an opportunity for me, a chance to step up and have their backs like they had mine. Hopefully I can show the coaches what I've improved on and that I'm ready to contribute."

Battle, a Clemson University product, was selected by the Rams in July's supplemental draft, with the team surrendering its fifth- round draft pick in 2016. The 22-year-old missed out on rookie orientation as well as Organized Team Activities in June. He arrived at Rams Park a week or so before the start of training camp, working with assistant offensive line coach Andy Dickerson. But he never seemed to catch up.

"I missed out on a lot of practice time and time to learn and get comfortable with the playbook and the system," 6-foot-7, 290-pound Battle said. "I was kind of thrown into the fire."

Battle struggled during the preseason and failed to make the 53- man roster coming out of training camp. He accepted the Rams' offer to join the practice squad.

"I like this system. I like the guys here," Battle said at the time. "They've really helped me. They're determined to be successful and I wanted to be here."

On Monday, Rams coach Jeff Fisher applauded the work Battle has done since arriving in St. Louis.

"He wasn't in good shape when he got here for obvious reasons," the coach said. "He's done a really good job in the weight room (and) he has a much better feel for what he's doing."

Battle added: "Honestly, I knew I was kind of behind the eight ball when I got here, but I came in with a positive mindset, knowing that I needed to work hard every single day. …

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