Rams will wisely play it safe with Todd Gurley until playoffs

Los Angeles Rams

Todd Gurley should be available against the Cardinals this week, but Sean McVay isn’t going to risk anything.

Even though the Los Angeles Rams are still hoping to get the No. 1 seed in the NFC, and thus home field advantage throughout the playoffs, their primary concern is with the health of their superstar running back Todd Gurley.

The three-time Pro Bowler injured his knee during last week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He did return to the game, and he’s expected to be ready to play against the Arizona Cardinals this week. But Rams head coach Sean McVay won’t take any chances. If there are any signs that point to Gurley not feeling 100 percent, he won’t risk him doing any further damage.

“It’s going to be predicated on what he says, what the doctors are saying,” McVay said via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. “If there’s a chance that he’s going to do something that’s going to set him back for when you get to the playoffs, different things like that, that’s where we have to make smart decisions. We’re trying to go win this football game and do everything we can in our power to do that. Not at the expense of potentially risking the availability of Todd.”

This is a smart move by McVay to be careful with Gurley. In fact, he could probably just rest Gurley during Week 16, and maybe even Week 17, altogether. The Rams certainly shouldn’t need Gurley to beat the 3-11 Cardinals, nor should they need him against the 4-11 San Francisco 49ers next week either. The Rams signed C.J. Anderson on Tuesday, and he would do just fine filling in for Gurley during the team’s final two games of the season.

Plus, even if the Rams win out, they would need New Orleans to lose another game to have a chance at the No. 1 seed.

Next: Week 16 playoff scenarios: Cowboys, Texans can clinch

In the big picture, a fully healthy and rested Gurley should be far more important to the Rams than home-field advantage. Since it seems unlikely that they will get the No. 1 seed anyway, Gurley’s health should be their biggest concern.

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