Rookie Jared Goff’s first start of the preseason for Los Angeles featured two turnovers and one touchdown, as the Minnesota reserve running backs led a 27-25 victory by the Vikings over the Rams on Thursday night.
Goff played the whole first half, finishing 6 for 16 for 67 yards. The first overall pick in the draft capped the first drive with deft touch on a 1-yard scoring pass to Kenny Britt, but ugliness ensued.
The Rams punted on the next four possessions. Then Goff dropped a shotgun snap for a fumble at his 9-yard line, setting up the second field goal for the Vikings by Blair Walsh. A minute later, Justin Trattou tripped Goff’s pass at the line and defensive tackle Toby Johnson made a diving interception at the 28.
Jhurell Pressley turned a short throw by Brad Sorensen into a 28-yard touchdown reception on the next play. Pressley also returned a kickoff 106 yards for a score, and C.J. Ham carried 15 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. After each score, the Vikings showed off their new stadium by dimming the lights, blaring Prince’s hit ”Let’s Go Crazy!” and flashing purple and gold bulbs around the ceiling.
With Adrian Peterson, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata well established as the running backs, there’s no room for the undrafted rookies Pressley (New Mexico) or Ham (Division II Augustana in South Dakota). But they each made a strong case for the practice squad or another team.
After losing Teddy Bridgewater for the season to a major knee injury just two days ago, the Vikings kept new starting quarterback Shaun Hill safely on the sideline. Joel Stave went 9 for 18 for 76 yards and left with a hand injury. Sorensen took over for the rest of the game.
Rob Havenstein started at right tackle for the Rams, after recently returning to practice from a foot injury.