The Los Angeles Rams are taking on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday; as they prepare to do so, they’re starting the practice week with RB Todd Gurley unlisted on the initial injury report:
2019 LA Rams Super Bowl LIII Week 2 injury report
|Greg Zuerlein||K||Left foot||Limited|
K Greg Zuerlein was upgraded to limited participation after missing out on practice all last week while DB Blake Countess continues to be hampered by a foot injury.
The Gurley injury is what it is. He’s not at 100%. While that’s frustrating and, considered the nature of existentialism here, sad, the Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys with a Gurley at less than 100% and a they beat the New Orleans Saints with a Gurley at less than 100%. It’s just a matter of getting the balance right. Here’s how I put it going into the Cowboys game:
During warmups, Gurley, the medical staff and the coaching staff will get together to assess what percentage he is at. 90? 80? Whatever it is, he’s going to play. And there are two factors at work here.
For one, McVay is going to have consider two things from a gameplan standpoint. Will he gameplan Gurley’s inclusion as if he were 100% or not? If a fully healthy Gurley were to get 20 rushes and 5 passing targets, how many will a less-than-100% Gurley get? Sure, this is a literal must-win, but if you push Gurley to the wall in a win...you’ve got a game in one week. Everyone was crowing about Gurley’s health on three weeks rest. Imagine pushing him to the wall and then having to play a week later when he couldn’t play or practice for two weeks. So McVay has a tough decision to make here planning-wise.
The second aspect is if he pulls back a bit. If those 20 carries and 5 targets on, say, 95% of offensive snaps becomes 15 carries and 3 targets on 80% of the snaps, how does McVay account for the decreased usage? Do plays that would normally be runs for Gurley become passing plays with Gurley in? Do they become runs for new backup RB C.J. Anderson? How much does Anderson’s performance in the final two weeks affect this kind of decision making?
Preparing to use an injured Gurley in a must-win game is a function of about 20 different decisions. Getting them “right” for whatever the course of the games brings us will be crucial.
Gurley got 16 carries against the Cowboys in the divisional round and just four in the NFC Championship against the Saints. I honestly have no clue what he’ll end up with against the Pats.
Speaking of, their injury report is similarly scant:
2019 New England Patriots Super Bowl LIII Week 2 injury report
Thats Pats DT Malcom Brown, not injured Rams RB Malcolm Brown though the two were teammates at Texas.
Per Pats Pulpit, the SB Nation community for fans of the Pats, it doesn’t sound too serious for Malcom Brown.
We’ll have to see how things progress for GZ and Countess this week and, fingers crossed, hope that nobody else joins them on the report this week.