Gurley did not practice Thursday and said he did not plan to practice for the remainder of the week as the Rams prepare for the Arizona Cardinals.
“I think I’ll be fine (to play Sunday),” Gurley said. “Just taking it day by day, recovering, resting, trying to feel better.”
When asked if he would play if there were a game Thursday, Gurley responded: “Today? That’s a tough question. I haven’t tried to run, so that’s a tough question.”
The Rams (11-3) have clinched the NFC West but after back-to-back losses have yet to secure a first-round bye in the playoffs. They can do so Sunday with a victory over the Cardinals (3-11) and a Chicago Bears (10-4) loss to the San Francisco 49ers (4-10).
“We got a game 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 if I can play in this situation? We just lost two, trying to get a first-round bye, like, that’s what we are trying to do. We’re trying to win.”
Gurley has scored a league-high 21 touchdowns, and ranks second in rushing yards per game with 89.4.
Rams coach Sean McVay said Wednesday that he expected Gurley to play against the Cardinals, but that the team would make a smart decision to ensure Gurley’s health.
“We’re trying to go win this football game and do everything we can in our power to do that,” McVay said. “Not at the expense of potentially risking the availability of Todd.”
Said Gurley: “I’m not going to go out there and jeopardize my future as well, so it works both ways. I’m not going to tell those guys I’m fine when I’m not and go out there and could risk something else, so it’s a two-way street.”
As of late, running back depth has been thinned because of injuries.
Gurley was sidelined for a series in the third quarter last Sunday in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles but returned to the game. He rushed for 48 yards and two touchdowns in 12 carries and caught 10 passes for 76 yards.
Trusted backup Malcolm Brown was put on injured reserve after suffering a clavicle injury in Week 13. Backup Justin Davis injured his shoulder last Sunday against the Eagles and is considered day-to-day but did not practice Thursday. Rookie John Kelly was inactive through 12 games and was inserted on offense for the first time in the loss to the Eagles.
The Rams signed veteran running back C.J. Anderson on Tuesday. Anderson, a sixth-year pro, could play a significant role against the Cardinals. When asked Thursday if he would be ready, Anderson said, “We going to see, we going to see.”
Anderson played five seasons with the Denver Broncos before he signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers over the offseason. He rushed for 104 yards in 24 carries in nine games before he was released on Nov. 12. The Oakland Raiders also signed him for a brief stint earlier this month.
“I know myself, I know what I can get done and what I can get accomplished,” Anderson said. “So I’ll be all right.”