By Cedric Williams
When the St. Louis Rams hit the practice field for the first time this week on Tuesday, in preparation for Sunday’s Week 2 matchup against the Washington Redskins, there was a new wrinkle mixed in with the first team offense.
Rookie running back Todd Gurley, the club’s first-round draft pick (No. 10 overall) and the first back taken in last spring’s draft, was on the field and running plays with the Rams’ starters. There was no holding back and there were no contact restrictions. Gurley and the rest of St. Louis’ starting offense were all working like people getting ready to play a game in five days.
“Todd got some work with the 1’s today, first time,” head coach Jeff Fisher said.
Well that little tid bit leads to the next natural question. Is Gurley going to play when the Rams meet the Redskins at FedEx Field on Sunday?
“Yeah, there’s always that possibility,” Fisher said. “I ruled him out in the preseason and ruled him out last week. I’m not ruling him out right now. We’ll see how he does. But this is a medical decision, a trainer’s decision, a collective decision. But we’ll see how he does this week.”
If Gurley is able to play on Sunday, it’ll be his first game action since suffering a torn ACL in a game against the Missouri Tigers last fall in Columbia. Gurley didn’t play at all during the preseason, and was only recently given the OK to practice with no restrictions.
“I’m not concerned about him knowing what to do, whatsoever,” Fisher said. “He knows what to do.”
The Rams will practice again on Wednesday, then take a full day off on Thursday, before coming to practice again on Friday and Saturday. And the expectation is that Gurley will get more reps with the first-teamers as the week moves on.
Aaron Donald Nominated for Performer of the Week award
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who had two sacks and a career-high 13 tackles in the Rams’ 34-31 overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, is one of the nominees for the NFL.com/Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Week. Other players nominated include QB Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys, QB Tyrod Taylor of the Buffalo Bills, DB Darian Stewart of the Denver Broncos, and WR/KR Jarvis Landry of the Miami Dolphins.
Fans can vote for their favorite candidate at http://www.nfl.com/castrol-edge through Friday.
Practice Squad Moves
St. Louis made some changes on its practice squad on Tuesday. The Rams cut safety Jacob Hagen and cornerback Trovon Reed, and replaced them by signing cornerbacks Brandon McGee and Melvin White.
McGee, who was drafted by the Rams in the fifth-round in 2013, was among the final players cut during training camp this year. He played in 15 games as a rookie, and totaled 16 tackles, mostly while working on special teams. McGee spent most of 2014 on the injured list.
White was signed by Carolina as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He played in 30 games for the Panthers, 17 of them starts, over the past two seasons before being cut recently. In his career, White has recorded 83 tackles, 11 passes defensed, and pulled down three interceptions.
Cedric Williams, a lifelong St. Louisan and proud UMSL alum, has been a full-time reporter/photographer covering St. Louis area sports for nearly two decades. Most recently, he has been working as a credentialed beat writer covering the NFL, as well as college and high school sports for the St. Louis American, Patch.com, and other outlets from around the area. Please share any comments, questions, or feedback with Cedric at email@example.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.