Todd Gurley sat out the entire 2015 exhibition season — and that worked out pretty well for the Rams.
Gurley was still recovering from knee surgery that ended his final season at Georgia. The No. 10 pick in the NFL draft did not play until the Rams' third regular-season game. He finished as the league's third-leading rusher and was voted offensive rookie of the year.
The Rams are taking a different approach this season.
Gurley sat out last week's exhibition opener against the Dallas Cowboys, but he is expected to make his debut Saturday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Gurley will probably play a series or two, Coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday.
"A couple carries, maybe some protection stuff and … get him out," Fisher said. "It's the motions of going through and getting ready.
"Last week, he knew he wasn't going to play. This week it's getting ready, getting focused and make some plays."
Gurley said during off-season workouts that he intended to improve all parts of his game, including catching the ball out of the backfield. Last season, he had 21 receptions for 188 yards.
He has been doing extra work catching balls after practice and said he was progressing.
"We've been putting in a lot of different stuff on offense," he said. "It's been a great opportunity, especially on third downs."
Case Keenum will start at quarterback. Jared Goff will play a few series with the starters and will go into the third quarter, Fisher said.
He expects all players to be more sharply focused than they were last week before the first NFL game in Los Angeles in more than two decades.
"Some guys were on the field in pregame warmups asking for help because they needed tickets," Fisher said. "That shouldn't be the case."
Back from Brazil
Defensive end Robert Quinn was back on the practice field, a day after watching his sister compete in the Rio Olympic Games.
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, competing for Puerto Rico, made it to the semifinals of the 100-meter hurdles but failed to qualify for the final after hitting two hurdles and stumbling.
Robert Quinn said he left for Brazil on Sunday and was proud to have seen his 19-year-old sister in two races.
"I'm acting like I ran in the Olympics," he said, laughing. "I'm so happy for her. She had a legitimate shot at it. It just didn't work in her favor this time."
Quinn is coming off back surgery. He did not play in the exhibition opener and will be held out again this week to recover from the international travel, Fisher said.
Quinn was appreciative that Fisher allowed him to go.
"Since coach got here you always had that family mind-set – put your family first," Quinn said. "A moment like that, it's kind of like a wedding or graduation, one of those things you just can't miss.
"I think coach understood and didn't want me to miss the moment. To say you went to the Olympics is one thing, but to see your baby sister is another…. I think that's why he's loved; the players love him so much because he understands the family side."