With the playoffs looming and home-field locked in for the wild card round, the Los Angeles Rams aren’t playing for much in Week 17 against the San Francisco 49ers. As such, Head Coach Sean McVay confirmed in his media remarks today that he has opted to rest some of the more notable names on the Rams’ roster.
At his press availability today after practice, McVay confirmed that DL Aaron Donald, QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley, C John Sullivan and LT Andrew Whitworth will all be sidelined for the game. He also confirmed that QB Sean Mannion, one of the Rams’ two third-round picks from the 2015 NFL Draft, will get his first NFL start.
The decision isn’t necessarily final nor is it without risk, as I discussed earlier today. There might be similar decisions yet to come on other guys dealing with nagging injuries. LB Mark Barron, OL Rodger Saffold and WR Cooper Kupp are all working with issues, so they could well be Week 17 casualties as well. As for the risk, there’s always a potential issue taking guys out of their normal gameweek rhythm. And with some major benchmarks up for grabs to close out the year, McVay at least assuaged those players with benchmarks that otherwise equate to dollars in their pockets:
Asked about potential incentives affected by the decision to sit stars on Sunday, McVay hints the Rams will pay those out. “We want to handle that in a first-class way.” @CVRamsClub— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) December 27, 2017
That’s a classy move that should reverberate through league circles even if to a minor degree. Always a good look to treat players on the high side, contractually.
That said, the Rams are doing the prudent thing in a situation they haven’t been in for well more than decade.
The Rams are getting ready for the playoffs.