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Sean McVay doubtful Tyler Higbee will practice, ‘optimistic’ 2 former starters return

McVay provides updates on Joe Noteboom, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Darrell Henderson, and Robert Rochell

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams Opening Night Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are less than a week away from playing the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium for the right to call themselves world champions. Thankfully, the extra week off has allowed LA additional recovery time for some ailing players. During his Super Bowl press conference, head coach Sean McVay provided injury updates leading up to the big game.

McVay to expects to have better information on Tyler Higbee and Joe Noteboom closer to game day

“We’re just taking it a day at a time with those guys. They’re doing everything in their power to be available. I’ll probably be able to give you a better answer as we get closer to the game, but there’s no change on those guys’ status.”

When asked if would be able practice leading up to the Super Bowl, McVay was not very optimistic

“I don’t think so. We’ll see. He’s been such a big part of this team. He’s one of those glue guys on this team. I know he’s going to do everything in his power, but if not he and (tight ends coach) Wes Phillips have led that room so well and those other guys will be ready to step up, but well take it a day at a time with Tyler.”

Having Noteboom (strained pectoral) available for the Super Bowl would be a huge boost for the o-line. His presence would help solidify the depth at both tackle positions. It would also open the door for some jumbo packages, with Noteboom replacing a tight end as the sixth offensive lineman, though rookie left tackle AJ Jackson and back-up center Coleman Shelton have also contributed in that role this season.

Higbee’s return would also be a boon for the offense if he is able to play on Sunday. However, with McVay so quick to admit that the tight end may not practice this week, expectations of his return should be tempered, at least a little bit.

Thankfully, Kendall Blanton has shown he is capable of filling in at tight end when needed. His five catch 57 yard performance against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship was impressive, especially if you consider the job he did blocking against Nick Bosa.

McVay also provided clarity on the potential returns of Sebastian Joseph-Day, Darrell Henderson, and Robert Rochell

“All those guys are expected to practice and there is a good chance those guys will be ready to go for the game. With Rochell, well just keep taking it a day at a time but with Bash and Darrell it is looking optimistic.”

The Rams defensive front may have quite the rotation come Super Bowl Sunday. With Joseph-Day’s return likely, he will be added to the already dangerous mix of Aaron Donald, Greg Gaines, and A’Shawn Robinson on LA’s defensive line.

The running back room is also as healthy as it’s been all season with Henderson expected to suit up. If the Los Angeles is able to pound the rock against the Bengals, they may have a three-headed monster of Cam Akers, Sony Michel, and Henderson. Keeping a fresh back in the game to tire out that underrated Cincinnati defense could prove pivotal in the offense’s success, and the right to hoist the Lombardi trophy.