Todd Gurley’s status before the Sunday’s clash between his Rams and the 49ers is still doubtfull. According to LA’s head coach Sean McVay, the strong runningback will determine himself whether to play or to skip the game against the undefeated team from San Francisco.
“From an injury standpoint, Todd will be doubtfull,” stated Rams HC at the press conference this Friday.
Though he did leave the door open for some changes. The medical team will have a talk with the player before the game, and together assess whether to include him in this event or no. The final decision will be on Gurley, however.
“I think he knows his body as well as anybody,” McVay said. “He’ll always be able to communicate that honestly with us. We’re a better team when we do have Todd Gurley, but if he’s not feeling right, then that’s where you have the confidence in the other guys to step up.”
One of the best running backs in the league picked up a quad injury against the Seattle Seahawks on the previous round. Even though that was a Thursday Night Football, and the player had three days more to recover, Gurley couldn’t heal properly.
The additional cause for Rams’ careful approach is Gurley’s knee injury from the last season, the one which might have cost them the title in the end. He is still closely monitored due to that, and his usage in the games is limited for now. Since the season started, he didn’t carry the ball more than 16 times at one game. In total, he posted 270 yards on 64 snaps, averaging 4.2 and recording 5 touchdowns.
If he is unable to play, the Rams will have to go with Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson, the rookie from Memphis. So far this season, Brown had 26 carries for 114 yards, while Henderson participated in just one attack but without any contribution.
“”Whatever my role is, I’m going to be prepared for it,” the rookie said.
McVay also stated that he has enormous trust in these two guys and that he expects them to replace the starting RB successfully.
Meanwhile, there is one more problem for McVay, and that is Aqib Talib’s situation. The fantastic cornerback won’t be in the protocol for Sunday, as his rib injury against the Seahawks still creates a lot of problems. Talib is one of the best in the league when looking at his position, and there is no doubt that his absence will leave the Rams’ defense exposed in a lot of ways. Especially against the 49ers who showed a great dose of attacking variety since the season began.
San Francisco comes in this match after a terrific win against the Cleveland Browns on Monday night football. Back then, Kyle Shanahan’s guys defeated Baker Mayfield and his teammates with 31-3, and are now expecting another win. Meanwhile, the Rams have two losses in a row. The first a shocking one at home to Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 55-40. After that, the Seahawks defeated them minimally, 30-29.
Since it is a match between the two divisional rivals, its importance is much greater than usual. Right now, San Francisco is 4-0, the Seahawks are 4-1, and the Rams are third in the NFC West with 3-2. Losing this match would severely damage their ambitions not only to win the division but also to reach the playoffs. Especially because of a tough schedule they have following this match. They meet the sorry Bengals at home, but have to travel to Pittsburgh and to host the Bears and the Ravens afterward.