(Photo credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports)
The two teams that met in Super Bowl LVI will square off for the first time since then when the Los Angeles Rams visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night.
Bengals star quarterback Joe Burrow was leading the Bengals on a potential game-tying or game-winning drive when nose tackle Aaron Donaldgot to Burrow on fourth down and sealed the Rams' 23-20 win.
The Rams have turned over their roster significantly since, with the exception of Donald, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
The Bengals are just hoping that Burrow can get on the field this week for the rematch after he re-aggravated his right calf strain in Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Burrow did not practice Thursday.
"You got to be able to adapt. It's part of the game. Nobody's 100 percent healthy out there," Burrow said. "Everybody's dealing with something."
Burrow initially injured the calf on July 27, the second day of training camp, and felt a twinge again on the play before his second touchdown pass of the game to Tee Higgins.
"Just feeling better. Not as sore," Burrow said Thursday. "Time heals. So we'll see. We'll see."
The Bengals have started 0-2 for the fourth time in five seasons under Zac Taylor. Last year, they were able to recover and win 14 of their next 16 games before falling to eventual Super Bowl LVII champion Kansas City in the AFC Championship.
"The beauty of this team is we know it's a 17-game season," head coach Zac Taylor said. "There's no overreaction on our end. We've got to be prepared for it outside of our locker room, which is natural. This is exactly where we were last year."
"We've done it before," Burrow said. "Obviously, you don't want to start 0-2. It's not what we were planning on, not what you want to do at all. But we're going to bounce back. That's what we do, that's all there is to it."
This marks the first game for Bengals starting safety Nick Scott against his former team after signing with Cincinnati in the offseason. He has 20 tackles through two games.
The Rams won their opener at Seattle before dropping last week's home opener to San Francisco, 30-23.
Rookie receiver Puka Nacua had a record-setting day, catching 15 passes from Matthew Stafford for 147 yards, becoming just the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to record at least 10 catches and at least 100 receiving yards in his team's first two games of the season. He is the only rookie to accomplish the feat and earned NFL Rookie of the Week honors.
"My success will come when the team wins," Nacua said. "So I'm excited us for to be able to come back and capitalize when we're able to win. It was sweet (vs. Seattle). I got things to improve on, but the most important thing is getting that (win)."
Nacua, however, sat out Thursday's practice with rib and oblique injuries. Cornerback Cobie Durant (groin) and center Brian Allen (illness) were also out, and guard Joe Noteboom (shoulder) and defensive tackle Jonah Williams (back) were limited.
Stafford passed Peyton Manning for the third-most passing yards by a player in his first 200 regular-season games (52,723 yards in 193 games). In the loss to the Niners, Stafford completed 34 of 55 passes for 307 yards.
"(The offensive line) did a great job," Stafford said. "They kept me clean the majority of the (game)."
The Rams have turned the running game over to feature back Kyren Williams after trading Cam Akers and a 2026 conditional seventh-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for a conditional 2026 sixth-round pick.
Williams ran for a touchdown and caught another score against San Francisco, marking the first Rams player to score through the air and on the ground since Week 8 of 2021.
Bengals safeties Tycen Anderson (calf) and Nick Scott (concussion) were limited participants at practice Thursday.
--Field Level Media