Rams Day 9 camp report

Lamarcus Joyner (Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS — The Rams had their most spirited practice of training camp on Monday afternoon at Rams Park, including their first fight of camp.

That was a showdown between rookie cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, the team’s second-round pick out of Florida State, and veteran wide receiver Austin Pettis.

“We’re competing. That’s brotherhood,” Joyner said. “We’re not playing for paychecks out here; we’re playing for championships. We want to fun and we’re having fun doing it.”

Pettis took exception to something Joyner did following a catch during team work. Pettis flipped the ball at Joyner. Then the two went at it, with both players throwing punches before being separated.

That altercation came just a few minutes after Joyner and wide receiver Kenny Britt got into a tussle that ended with the rookie cornerback grabbing his teammate’s helmet, which then fell to the field.

The diminutive rookie showed some feistiness. Listed at 5-foot-8 and 184 pounds, Joyner wasn’t afraid to go out of his weight class in scuffles with Britt (6-3, 223) and then Pettis (6-3, 203).

“Oh yeah, football,” Joyner said. “We was competing, man. Our first preseason (game) coming up and we’re trying to win a championship around here, so you’ve got to play football.”

• Joyner, rookie seventh-round safety Christian Bryant and undrafted rookie linebacker Johnny Millard were among the players who returned to practice on Monday after missing time with injuries.

Joyner said he was nicked up during a special teams practice last week.

“It felt like I was out for a year,” he said.

Among the players who did not participate in Monday’s practice were linebacker James Laurinaitis, wide receiver Brian Quick, offensive linemen Rodger Saffold and Barrett Jones, defensive tackles Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford, cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Brandon McGee.

• The Rams set the tone for the day with a physical early session that focused on the run game. There was no tackling involved, but plenty of popping of the pads.

Running back Zac Stacy delivered several thuds against the linebackers and safeties. Safety Rodney McLeod was on the receiving end of big one.

• Undrafted rookie tight Alex Bayer continued to look good with several catches during the team period.

The Rams figure to keep four tight ends, with Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey essentially guaranteed roster spots. That leaves Bayer, Justice Cunningham and 6-7, 284-pound converted defensive lineman Mason Brodine competing for one spot.

T.J. Moe had two nice catches during the late team period.

Moe, from the University of Missouri, missed all of last training camp and regular season with an injury after signing with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent. He’s got his work cut out for him in earning a roster spot, but he’s a guy that figures to have plenty of chances to impress during the preseason games.

• Rookie cornerback Greg Reid intercepted a Garrett Gilbert pass along the sideline late in the team period. Reid, who missed the past two seasons after suffering two knee injuries, will be an interesting player to watch during the preseason because he should get plenty of looks.

• Former Rams wide receiver Mark Clayton watched practice on Monday.

A first-round pick in 2005 out of Oklahoma, Clayton played five seasons with the Ravens (2005-2009) before being traded to St. Louis. He looked to be one of Sam Bradford’s go-to targets in 2010, when Bradford was a rookie, before getting hurt.

In his Rams’ debut, against the Cardinals, Clayton caught 10 passes for 119 yards. He caught two touchdown passes the next week. He only played in five games in 2010 because of a knee injury but he finished with 23 catches for 306 yards and two scores.

Clayton played in just two games the following season, 2011, because of an injury and then he never played another game in the NFL.

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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