IRVINE, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Rams' decision to start Case Keenum over prized rookie Jared Goff made plenty of sense considering Keenum badly outplayed the first overall pick in last April's draft through training camp and the preseason.
But after Keenum struggled mightily in the Rams' dreadful 28-0 loss to the San Fransisco 49ers Monday night in Santa Clara, an obvious question arose:
How much of the separation between Keenum and Goff was what Keenum did or what Goff didn't do?
And how many deplorable performances will the Rams stomach before making the switch -- be it to Goff or second-year man Sean Mannion?
It was a consideration Rams head coach Jeff Fisher gave serious thought to while watching Keenum stumble about against the 49ers.
"I thought about it. You know, I thought about it, but I wanted Case to finish it," Fisher said. "It's for no other reason than just to get Sean some experience, but I just let Case finish it. And I'd have done the same thing Jared (Goff) been in too, I would let Case finish it. This doesn't change anything as far as the quarterback's concerned."
"That's right." Fisher maintained.
But if Keenum continues to struggle?
"Well I'll adjust, but I don't expect it to continue." Fisher said.
It was difficult to see how Fisher could be so sure of that after Keenum completed 17 of 35 passes for 130 yards and two interceptions.
On an utterly embarrassing night for the Rams, Keenum's performance stood at the top of the list of issues that need to get fixed.
"Well, I'm not happy. It's not something that I'll go out and think about, but this team deserves better plays from its quarterback and I intend on doing that," Keenum said. "That's one thing that is not going to define me. It was a big stage and it would have been fun to win on Monday night to start the season, but it's a long season. This is not us, offensively, this is not us. We're going to come to work tomorrow and get ready to beat the Seahawks."
At least he hopes.
If not, it might be a shorter than anticipated leash he is working on.
--Rams defensive end Robert Quinn and receiver Kenny Britt lifted their fists to the sky during the national anthem at Levi's Stadium on Monday night. It was their way of joining 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's protests on racial inequality.
Quinn said he and Britt decided over the weekend to make the gesture, although neither communicated with Kaepernick.
"At the end of the day, we come here to play football," Quinn said. "But also, you have some might and power and a voice to allow yourself to be heard."
Britt angrily left the locker room immediately after the loss to the 49ers and did not speak to reporters.
--The Rams have long been known as a highly penalized team -- finishing among the top 10 most penalized teams in 2015 -- and though it was a point of emphasis in training camp they were up to their same old tricks Monday against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Rams were flagged an 10 times for 102 yards, and many directly aided the 49ers scoring drives.
--Wide receiver Tavon Austin, who was given a four-year contract extension to two weeks ago worth $42 million, finished Monday night with just four catches for 13 yards.
"We definitely were caught slipping today," he said. "We'll get it corrected. It's the first game. Everybody is going to see what they see. We'll be back. We'll go back to work this week and we'll come out different next week."
--Defensive tackle Aaron Donald was kicked out of the game after ripping off the helmet of 49ers WR Quinton Patton and then making contact with a referee.
"I just let emotions get the best of me. There's no excuses," he said. "I can't make mistakes like that and hurt my team."