The Rams’ latest key NFC West matchup will likely unfold without Todd Gurley. The quadriceps injury the All-Pro back has encountered will bring a doubtful designation, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com tweets.
Gurley has not missed a game since December of 2018, but instead of the problematic knee issue the two-time first-team All-Pro and the Rams spent the offseason addressing cryptically, it will be a quad malady that has him on the verge of sitting out Sunday’s game against the unbeaten 49ers.
Malcolm Brown will be set to start in Gurley’s place, with third-round rookie Darrell Henderson mixing in. The Rams have also declared Aqib Talib out for Week 6. The Rams have used Brown sparingly this season, giving Gurley 64 carries to Brown’s 26. Brown has also caught just one pass compared to Gurley’s 14. Neither have been particularly effective pass catchers this season, and Gurley is well off his recent prolific paces. Brown is averaging 4.4 yards per carry, however.
A first-team All-Pro in 2017 and ’18, Gurley is averaging 4.2 yards per carry behind Los Angeles’ remade offensive line. His 338 scrimmage yards are noticeably behind the prodigious paces he set in his age-22 and age-23 seasons, which ended in 2,093- and 1,831-yard totals. Now, this quadriceps issue becomes a concern — as do the Rams’ chances of dropping to .500.
A rib injury will sideline Talib, who has been less available in L.A. compared to his Denver days. Talib missed eight games last season, landing on IR for half of it.