One day after the worst was confirmed, senior safety Ben Stratton addressed his injury situation and his new role with the Rams.
"I pretty much knew what was going on with it, I felt it pop when I went down," Stratton said. "That night I was pretty confident when I was walking around on it, but when I woke up Saturday, I pretty much knew something was wrong."
Stratton tore his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus in his left knee in practice Friday. He is scheduled to have surgery September 15 to repair the knee.
Stratton returned to practice for the first time in street clothes Tuesday, but instead of acting like a player, he resembled a coach and mentor. He offered advice and encouragement on more than one instance to the younger defensive backs.
"I have a new role for this team now," said Stratton. "I'll be a coach when I can and I'll give my encouragement when I can. It's going to be weird to be just a student now, but I'll accept it and understand that God has a plan for me."
"I don't think it has really hit me yet, but when I'm laid up after surgery I think that will be a little different."
Senior safety Travis Garcia was again taking reps as a safety at practice. Like the rest of the team, Stratton expressed complete confidence in what Garcia can do, and had no problem being humble.
"Travis, he's an awesome player," said Stratton. "Last year when he'd come in he wouldn't miss a stride. The defense is absolutely not going to miss a beat. I don't think you're actually losing anything with me out, you might be gaining a little with Travis."