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TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay December 21 press conference

Here’s what McBae had to say to the media yesterday.

Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(Opening statement)

“On the injury front, (RB) Justin Davis and (RB) Todd Gurley (II) will be listed as questionable. I know there will be some questions about Todd, so with regards to his status, we’ll take it up to the game. We’re not going to do anything that isn’t smart for Todd. I thought he said it perfectly yesterday. It’s a team effort. Trusting how he feels, what our doctors say and what is best for our football team. The one thing that’s really good about him is he’s not going to do anything to put himself in harm’s way. He knows his body. We’re certainly not interested in doing anything of that nature, but we’re going to give ourselves about that 48 hours that we do have until we kickoff on Sunday. That’s exactly where we’re at with that.”

(On being with the Redskins when QB Robert Griffin III was dealing with knee injuries and if he takes situations like that into account for how far to push Gurley’s availability for Sunday)

”Oh yeah, and that’s why – I’m not a doctor and I can’t speak for Todd, but I do trust that he’ll be able to give us the feedback that we need. The doctors will be able to give their expert advice and then that’s where we’ll always make decisions that are, number one, the best interest of the player and then how that player effects our team. So, that’s always going to be number one for us. That’s exactly the approach that we’ll take. Not only with Todd, but really with any player on our roster if they’re in this situation.”

(On how he expects his offense to look if Gurley can’t play on Sunday)

”(RB) John Kelly and (RB) C.J. (Anderson) will do a nice job and then depending upon Justin Davis, his availability as well. We’re hopeful that Todd will be ready, but if not, we’ve got to be able to adjust and adapt. Injuries occur in this league. C.J. has played a lot of good football in this league, rushed for 1,000 yards last year. Been very, very impressed with how quickly he’s been able to pick things up rather seamlessly. That gives us the confidence that if he’s got to play a large role on Sunday, that he’s more than capable and more than ready to do that.”

(On if Anderson could start at running back on Sunday)

”That’s a possibility. Yeah, absolutely.”

(On if they’ll work out Gurley during pregame warmups to determine how he feels)

”Yeah, that’s exactly right. We’ll see how he responds to some of the rehab that we’re doing over the next couple days. Really, when you’ve got that hour and a half to decide before the game your inactives, it’ll probably go right up until then. But, like we talk about all the time, we’ll have some contingency plans in place and we’re going to do what’s best for Todd. It’s all about the communication. Two-way street – us understanding where he’s coming from, how he’s feeling and then making an educated decision on what’s best for him.”

(On if he considers this one of the bigger challenges he’s faced as a head coach with balancing Gurley’s injury and playing to secure a first-round bye week)

”Every single day just requires different challenges that you have to navigate through and use the people that – it’s everybody doing it together and figuring out how to make the most sound decisions that are best for our team. There’s a lot of layers to it, like you mentioned, but number one is going to always be the player’s consideration when you talk about an injury status, things like that. Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of even being able to decide. We’re trying to go win a football game. We’re going to do everything that we can in our power to do that, regardless of whether we’re playing for a chance to end the season on two good, positive notes if we didn’t make the playoffs or vice versa. It’s about competing, doing a good job. Really pleased with the way that the players responded this week and the way they prepared and trust that it’ll lead to a good performance, but we certainly have to be ready to go for what Arizona presents from a challenge standpoint.”

(On if he’s ever had a situation where a skill player comes in and five days later is starting for his new team)

”We’ve had situations where guys have certain injuries that, if you trust that their above-the-neck preparation will put them in a position to be ready to go. But, each situation is a little bit different in its own way. The one thing that’s unique about this with Todd is that he is such a smart, cerebral player, that if he’s ready to go physically, then we feel good about that. It’s not like he’s not just doing anything, he’s just not taking part in some of the physical activities that we do during the week of practice. But, there’s been instances, when you really look at it, he didn’t practice – we didn’t practice as a team when we played the Vikings on Thursday. So, there’s a lot of different things where you’re mostly focusing on that mental approach. Todd is a guy that, especially just given his workload, you naturally take off the physical toll anyways. So, if he’s feeling good, ready to go, he’s always sharp and crisp from a mental standpoint based on his availability in the meetings, his attention to detail with what he’s doing outside of just some of the things that we’re giving him and I think it shows up with his play.”

(On Anderson and his potential to start on short notice on Sunday)

”We had something similar with (former RB) Pierre Thomas when I was in Washington. He came in on a short week. They really, in terms of just their intelligence, you can just feel their experience just based on how quickly they’re able to pick things up. It was similar with Pierre because he had been in a system in New Orleans that had some similar verbiage, some similar concepts. In a lot of ways, it’s similar to what C.J. had experienced in Denver playing with (former Broncos Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak. So, I think it’s been a pretty seamless transition for him, but I think it’s also a result of (Running Backs Coach) Skip (Peete) doing an excellent job and then C.J. being conscientious enough to pick things up quickly, ask questions and I think his feel for the game. It’s definitely been a little bit unique, but Pierre would be a similar situation. Then, (WR) Nick Williams coming in on a short week, being active was something that we dealt with earlier this year as well.”