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Practice Report 1/1: Gurley Doubtful for Season Finale

Posted Jan 1, 2016

The Rams have listed RB Todd Gurley as 'doubtful' for Sunday's game against the 49ers, which means RB Tre Mason is likely to start.

NAPA, Calif. -- Like all teams, the Rams have suffered their share of injuries throughout the season. But one from this week will be particularly significant, as it looks like running back Todd Gurley may not play in the season finale against the 49ers with a foot injury.

“We’ve listed Todd today as doubtful, so you can read between the lines there,” Fisher said. “We’re just thinking about the long-term future. He’s got an issue he’s dealing with, and we’re still doing tests. But the difference between him playing and making things worse can be the difference between six-to-eight weeks of rehab during the offseason.”

If Gurley has indeed played his last snap of the 2015 season, he’ll have reached a number of milestones in only 12 starts. He’s rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 total games, including five games of at least 125 yards rushing, and three with at least 140. With his rushing touchdown last week, he joined Eric Dickerson as the second running back in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.

What makes Gurley’s season all the more remarkable is how that he didn’t move into the starting lineup until Week 4 and was coming off a torn ACL. Because of the injury, Fisher said he thinks the running back should be even better in 2016.

“As I said early on when he got started, just wait another year. He’s not 100 percent,” Fisher said. “He’s had a little setback with the foot, so I just don’t want to set him back any more. It just makes sense for the organization, the future of the organization.”

And so Gurley should be fine with a few weeks of rest. Keeping him on the sidelines this week should allow him to not suffer any setbacks and go into the offseason strong.

“Right now we’ve got really good news, and good results, but it’s doubtful that he plays,” Fisher said. “It’s rest for a couple of weeks, and he’ll be fine.”

If there is a silver lining to Gurley’s injury, it’s that running back Tre Mason should get a chance to show his considerable skill set against the 49ers.

“It’s a blessing to be able to start again,” Mason said. “I wish ‘TG’ was out there with me to give us some more power, but I’m willing to take on the role.”

Fisher said the initial plan this season was to balance the carries between Gurley and Mason much more. But, because of the general lack of offensive production, that did not work out.

“Unfortunately, if you look back through the year, our perfect world was 15 and 12 carries apiece [for Gurley and Mason],” Fisher said. “We wanted to carry at least 25 times, 27 times, and split them. We were unable to do that because we just struggled either getting the ball back, or struggled on third down, struggled with opportunities.”

“When you love the game, I know I put my teammates first,” Mason said. “Whatever’s going to put my team first, we’ve got to do it.” 

Last year, Mason led the Rams with 765 yards rushing as a rookie, also making 16 receptions for 148 yards. He dealt with a hamstring injury early in the season, which kept him out of the Week 1 matchup with Seattle and may have hampered some early production. But the Auburn product still has confidence he can play.

“I’m a positive person,” Mason said. “I always think positive and just try to be great.”

And while his season has not been what he’d hoped, Mason said he’s enjoyed watching his teammate Gurley have his success.

“We learn from each other,” Mason said. “We take things from each other’s game. We criticize each other’s game to help each other get better.”

If he gets the opportunity, Mason plans to make the most of it against the Niners to cap the season.

“Tre’s in great shape right now,” Fisher said. “He’s fresh and he’ll go.”

“I feel like we’ve got a good plan this week, and we’re ready to attack,” Mason said.

“I love the game,” Mason added, “so every time I step foot out there it’s like I’m playing my last game.”

ROSTER MOVES & INJURY REPORT

The Rams have made another roster move in advance of Sunday’s matchup with San Francisco. Cornerback Eric Patterson has been placed on injured reserve, and the Rams promoted wide receiver Nick Toon to the active roster.

On Thursday, the club claimed cornerback Troy Hill, who arrived in Napa on Friday. Fisher said the Rams became intrigued with the defensive back when they went to work out quarterback Marcus Mariota in the pre-draft process.

“We had worked him out in Eugene when we went out to visit Mariota, and he had a really good workout,” Fisher said of Hill. “Coaches liked him, and for some reason he was waived yesterday [on Thursday], so we thought, let’s take advantage of the opportunity. So, we’ll have him in the offseason program.”

While Hill is with the team, Fisher said it’s likely the corner will be inactive on Sunday given the timing of his arrival.

Elsewhere on the injury report, safety Mark Barron (concussion), defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks (concussion), and defensive tackle Michael Brockers (thigh) are all probable. Offensive lineman Andrew Donnal (knee) is questionable. And, as previously mentioned, Gurley (foot) is doubtful for Sunday.