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NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Week 4 | NFL: Superbowl

Rams' Gurley expects to play, with Anderson ready to step in

Thu Dec 20 9:09pm ET
By DAN GREENSPAN
Associated Press

Players: C.J. Anderson, Todd Gurley, Justin Davis, John Kelly

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley runs over Philadelphia Eagles free safety Corey Graham during the first half in an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley expects to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in spite of a knee injury.

If the game was earlier, however, Gurley wasn't quite as certain about his status.

''I haven't tried to run so, yeah, that's a tough question,'' Gurley said Thursday night.

Gurley did not practice Thursday as he deals with inflammation in his knee that flared up in the 30-23 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday night. Gurley, who leads the NFL with 21 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns, does not expect to practice before the Rams travel to Arizona.

However, Gurley was adamant he would play provided he gets medical clearance to do so.

''We got a game to win, and I'm pretty sure me being out there, if I can be out there, I would put this team in a good position to help them win,'' Gurley said. ''So why wouldn't I be out there, you know, if I can play? That's what we are trying to do. We're trying to win.''

Coach Sean McVay said Wednesday he would consider resting Gurley to make sure the second-leading runner in the league with 1,251 yards rushing is available for the playoffs, as the Rams (11-3) have already won the NFC West.

That is not acceptable to Gurley, not with the team on a two-game losing streak and still trying to secure a first-round bye.

''We're not worried about three weeks from now,'' Gurley said. ''We're worried about this week.''

At the same time, Gurley said he would not jeopardize his health by playing if he did not feel comfortable.

''I'm not going to tell those guys I'm fine when I'm not, you know,'' Gurley said. ''If you go out there (like that you) could risk something else, so it's a two-way street. That's why we communicate.''

Complicating Gurley's situation is the availability of Justin Davis, the second-year running back from Southern California who sustained a shoulder injury against the Eagles while backing up Gurley.

Davis also missed practice Thursday, which left C.J. Anderson and John Kelly as the only running backs available. Anderson signed with the Rams on Tuesday, and the rookie Kelly has two career carries for four yards.

A 1,000-yard rusher for Denver in 2017, Anderson helped the Broncos to appearances in Super Bowl 48 and 50. Anderson rushed for 90 yards and one touchdown in the 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50.

''He's one of the reasons I have a Super Bowl ring,'' said Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who held the same position with Denver during the 2015 season.

Anderson was waived by the Panthers on Nov. 12 after rushing for 104 yards and no touchdowns in nine games. He signed a one-year contract with Carolina in May. Anderson signed with Oakland on Dec. 4 but was released one week later without appearing in a game.

In spite of his lack of familiarity with the Rams offense and limited production this season, the six-year veteran Anderson was confident he would be able to contribute if Gurley does not play.

''The game don't change,'' Anderson said. ''What I see and what I do and how I prepare, that's never changed. It hasn't changed since I was in Carolina. Gruden, I was ready to play that Sunday if he needed me that Sunday when I was in Oakland, and it doesn't change here. It's how you are as a player. I love the game, I love putting in work, I love learning. I want all these guys to know they can count on 35 when I'm out there.''

Anderson said the Rams' scheme is similar to what he ran in Denver for coach Gary Kubiak and the extensive reps he got in practice Thursday were helping him get up to speed quickly. Gurley said it would help that Anderson had to learn the plays needed against the Cardinals (3-11) and not the entire playbook.

Still, Gurley plans to take pressure off Anderson by handling his usual role.

''I'm here to play ball,'' Gurley said.

Player Notes
Philip Rivers Jan 28 4:40pm ET

Updating a previous story from Monday, the Los Angeles Chargers haven't officially moved on from quarterback Philip Rivers, as FOX Sports' Jay Glazer alluded to. All options remain available with the veteran gunslinger, including the franchise tag. However, the fact that Rivers moved his family 2,000 miles away from Los Angeles to Florida could factor into the decision on both sides. The writing seems to be on the wall for the Bolts to cut ties with Rivers when he becomes a free agent this March. The 38-year-old had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2019 in his 16th and likely final season with the Chargers. Rivers can still put up numbers as he gets closer to retirement, but fantasy owners will likely be drafting him as a backup for the 2020 season, no matter where he winds up.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Jan 28 2:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said the team could wait until next year to sign quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a long-term contract extension. "I don't want to say necessarily it has to be this offseason, but I will say that it's a priority to get him done," Hunt said. A first-round pick in 2017, Mahomes is eligible for a contract extension now that he's finished his third year in the NFL, but it sounds like the Chiefs aren't exactly in a hurry to get something done. The 24-year-old didn't post the gaudy numbers he had in 2018 -- 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns -- but he was still more than adequate with 4,031 yards, 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 14 games. Mahomes is an elite signal-caller with exceptional athleticism with both his arm and legs. He's here to stay as a high-end QB1 and will take on the 49ers in the Super Bowl this Sunday.

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Alex Collins Jan 28 12:43pm ET

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Dee Ford Jan 28 12:13pm ET

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LeSean McCoy Jan 27 10:10pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy, who hasn't had a touch since Week 15 and who was inactive for the AFC Championship against the Titans, said he's not ready to retire after this season. "Nah, I'm not ready to retire, yet," McCoy said. "I still can play. So, I'm not going to retire yet, but that day is coming. That day is definitely coming." The 31-year-old has taken a back seat to running backs Damien Williams and rookie Darwin Thompson down the stretch, and he's unlikely to have much of a role, if any, in the Super Bowl against the 49ers. Shady has become more of a mentor in the running back room than an on-field performer for fantasy owners.

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Tevin Coleman Jan 27 10:03pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor Coleman's practice participation this week to see if he will be in any danger of missing the Super Bowl. He will be part of a committee if he plays and can be a flex option.

From TheHuddle

Philip Rivers Jan 27 7:23pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers impending free-agent QB Philip Rivers' status with the Chargers is uncertain at this time, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The team may consider placing the franchise tag on him or let him leave in free agency.

Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see where Rivers will be playing in 2020. He likely will find a starting job this offseason but may only be a No. 2 quarterback in fantasy leagues.

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George Kittle Jan 27 6:23pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Kittle seems to be playing fine despite the injury and continues to be an important part of the running and passing game. He continues to be one of the top tight ends in the NFL and is a must-start fantasy option.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Jan 27 6:00pm ET

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Tommylee Lewis Jan 27 5:43pm ET

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Fantasy Spin: Gabriel struggled with concussions this season but can be a role in an offense because of his playmaking abilities. He probably will be avoided in most fantasy leagues no matter where he plays in 2020.

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Kareem Hunt Jan 27 3:20pm ET

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Philip Rivers Jan 27 3:00pm ET

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From RotoBaller

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