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C.J. Anderson hasn't been with Rams for even a week, but he says he is ready to start if Todd Gurley can't go

C.J. Anderson hasn't been with Rams for even a week, but he says he is ready to start if Todd Gurley can't go
Rams running back Todd Gurley has not practice this week because of inflammation in his left knee. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

It will be only a few days from the time he first practiced with the Rams, but running back C.J. Anderson said Friday that he would be prepared to start in place of star Todd Gurley if necessary Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

“Totally ready to play,” he said.

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Gurley has not practiced this week because of what the Rams have described as left knee inflammation. Coach Sean McVay said a determination about Gurley’s status would be a game-time decision.

“We’re not going to do anything that isn’t smart for Todd,” McVay said.

Second-year pro Justin Davis is questionable because of a shoulder injury, and rookie John Kelly’s pass protection skills are still developing, so Anderson could play a significant role, even start.

Anderson, a sixth-year pro and two-time Pro Bowl player, started in the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers. He also rushed for 1,007 yards in 2017.

He signed with the Rams after stints this season with the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders.

“Been very, very impressed with how quickly he’s been able to pick things up rather seamlessly,” McVay said. “That gives us the confidence that if he’s got to play a large role on Sunday, that he’s more than capable and more than ready to do that.”

Anderson said his experience and “football IQ” would help him Sunday. He has not carried the ball in a game since Nov. 8, so it will take a few plays to get used to game speed.

But that won’t be a problem, he said.

“Like riding a bike,” he said.

Contributing factor

Receiver Brandin Cooks was among the recipients of a customized football from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, commemorating Cooks’ contribution to Brees’ becoming the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader.

Cooks played with Brees for three seasons, from 2014 to 2016. He caught 215 passes for 2,861 yards and 20 touchdowns.

“No surprise to me that he would do something like that,” said Cooks, who has 72 receptions for 1,107 yards and three touchdowns this season. “He’s the one that put in the work, but to recognize everyone who in a sense caught a ball from him just shows how special he is.”

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