With the Los Angeles Rams facing a 4-11 San Francisco 49ers team in Week 17, a second opportunity to rest running back Todd Gurley should not be missed.
No easy decision in Week 17 as the Rams play host to the San Francisco 49ers in the season finale at the Coliseum. Los Angeles, still knee deep in a need to win game, won’t have the luxury of resting any starters unless a win were to be safely at hand.
Gurley, who is fighting knee inflammation, was able to take Week 16 off as the Rams easily dispatched the Arizona Cardinals 31-9. In his place, Los Angeles took advantage of a fresh C.J. Anderson who rushed for 167 yards on 20 carries, also scoring one touchdown. The addition of Anderson also took some pressure off of quarterback Jared Goff, who has been anything other than comfortable in an offense not featuring a potent rushing attack.
All that said, the Niners won’t be a walkover for the Rams. Despite their 4-11 record and a 39-10 loss to LA in Santa Clara, San Francisco and Los Angeles is a game not to be overlooked.
In December, the Niners beat the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks in back-to-back weeks, and hung in with the third best team in the NFC, the Chicago Bears in Week 16, losing 14-9 at Levi’s Stadium. Also, a win against the Rams would give San Francisco a winning record for the last month of the season.
Clearly, the Rams won’t be overlooking their NFC West rival. But a 4-11 Niners record plus the potential for Anderson to hold down the fort another week, may give McVay the confidence to sit perhaps his most important player another week. If Los Angeles were to win and secure a first round bye, that would have allowed Gurley three straight weeks of rest for the playoff push, and allow Anderson to get another week of reps and work.
As mediocre as the division was, wrapping up 2018 with the Cardinals and Niners may be the kind of season ending gift the Rams needed after all.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News