Since getting drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round last spring, former Fresno State star Cody Wichmann had been preparing to be called upon in various situations – even as a possible starter.
Starter is where the rookie is today after the Rams suffered numerous injuries on the offensive line in recent weeks: right guard Jamon Brown and left tackle Darrell Williams were placed on injured reserve, and right tackles Rob Havenstein and Andrew Donnal are also hurt.
Wichmann made his first career start against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 22 and was again in the starting lineup Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, playing at right guard in both games.
I was nervous for the first time in a long time, but after the first play all those nerves went away.
Rams rookie Cody Wichmann
“I basically found out the day before that I was starting for sure,” Wichmann said. “It was an amazing experience and there is nothing like it. It was an away game and the crowd atmosphere was intense. I was nervous for the first time in a long time, but after the first play, all those nerves went away.”
Wichmann started 50 games during his Fresno State career and was a two-time All-Mountain West Conference selection, second team as a senior in 2014 and honorable mention in 2013. He helped the Bulldogs lead the nation in passing in 2013 behind quarterback Derek Carr (2014 second-round pick of the Oakland Raiders), and the offensive line ranked No. 6 in the FBS in fewest sacks allowed.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher said he thinks Wichmann will keep getting better.
“That’s usually the case,” Fisher said. “I think he will learn from the speed of the game; he’ll learn from his mistakes. I expect Cody to improve.”
I think he will learn from the speed of the game; he’ll learn from his mistakes. I expect Cody to improve.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher
Wichmann could see another start Sunday against the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals as the Rams try to snap a four-game losing streak.
“I have a long way to go until I reach the level of play that I will be happy with, but I set high standards for myself,” Wichmann said. “But I am improving every day, either in the film room or on the field, so that will help me reach my goals.”
And those goals?
“I want to be a great player in this league, so my goals to get there are: Great technique, mastering the playbook and to be the best teammate I can be. Common goals, but they are important,” he said.
▪ T.J. McDonald (Edison High) had five tackles for the Rams in their 31-7 loss to Cincinnati. Bengals linebacker and former Fresno State star Chris Carter had a quarterback hit, while safety Derron Smith didn’t record a special-teams tackle.
Carr adds to TD totals – Carr threw three touchdown passes – including his third career game-winner, a 12-yard hookup with Seth Roberts – to lead Oakland to a 24-21 victory over Tennessee.
Carr has 24 touchdown passes this season and five three-touchdown games, tied for third most in team history and the most since Rich Gannon in 2002. With 330 passing yards, Carr recorded his sixth 300-yard game this season to tie Carson Palmer (2012) for second most in a season by a Raider. Carr’s 13 touchdowns in November are second most in a single month in team history, trailing former Clovis High star Daryle Lamonica’s 14 in October 1969.
Carr had 1,435 passing yards in November, moving ahead of Gannon (October 2002) for the most in a single month in franchise history.
Et cetera – Cleveland wide receiver Marlon Moore (Fresno State) had his third career touchdown – his first with the Browns – in a 33-27 loss to the Ravens.
▪ Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Eric Kendricks (Hoover) finished with six tackles in a 20-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. He also had a tackle for a loss.
▪ Chicago Bears receiver Marquess Wilson (Tulare) had four receptions for 44 yards in a 17-13 victory over Green Bay. Packers receiver Davante Adams (Fresno State) had two receptions for 14 yards and was targeted 11 times. He is tied for sixth in the league with seven drops, per Pro Football Focus.
▪ New Orleans defensive tackle Tyeler Davison (Fresno State) had three tackles in the Saints’ 24-6 loss to the Houston Texans.
▪ Philadelphia linebacker Mychal Kendricks (Hoover) had seven tackles and teammate Seyi Ajirotutu (Fresno State) had a reception for four yards as the Eagles fell to the Detroit Lions 45-14. Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (Fresno State) sat out because of a concussion.
▪ Pittsburgh Steelers safety Robert Golden (Edison) had a special-teams tackle in a 39-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
▪ Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Steven Nelson (College of the Sequoias) had three special-team tackles in a 30-22 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
▪ New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (COS) finished with a tackle, sack, two quarterback hits, a pass deflection and a forced fumble as New York rolled past the Miami Dolphins 38-20.
▪ San Diego right guard Kenny Wiggins (Fresno State) made his fifth start this season as the Chargers defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-25.
▪ Carolina linebacker Ben Jacobs (Fresno State) and Dallas Cowboys fullback Tyler Clutts (Clovis/Fresno State) played in the Panthers’ 33-14 victory.
▪ Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green (Tulare) didn’t pick up a reception in a 30-24 overtime victory over the New England Patriots.
▪ Tampa Bay left guard Logan Mankins (Fresno State) started, but the Bucs fell to the Indianapolis Colts 25-12.