His left knee apparently no longer causing him pain, Rams running back Todd Gurley had some fun at coach Sean McVay’s expense Wednesday.
“He got a kick out of joking with me that he was real sore,” McVay said before practice. “I didn’t think it was that funny.”
McVay laughed, and he had reason to be in a happy mood.
Gurley practiced with the team for the first time since the Rams’ Dec. 16 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles at the Coliseum. After sitting out the final two games, the NFL’s touchdown leader is on track to start Saturday against the Dallas Cowboys in an NFC divisional-round playoff game at the Coliseum.
Gurley went through light drills during the short portion of practice open to media. He was officially listed as limited on the injury report, but said he felt good and was working toward returning to full speed.
“See how I wake up and feel,” Friday, he said. “But, everything went pretty good … so just super excited about that.”
Despite playing just 14 games, Gurley rushed for 1,251 yards, third in the NFL behind the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott and New York Giants rookie Saquon Barkley.
Gurley went through a pregame workout before the Rams played the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 23 but was held out after consulting with team trainers and medical staff. He also did not play in the season finale against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Rams signed running back C.J. Anderson after the loss to the Eagles, and the veteran delivered 167- and 132-yard rushing performances in the final two games.
But Gurley is expected to carry the load against the Cowboys. He said he had no personal history with the high-profile opponent, but others apparently do.
“Basically, everybody I know hates the Cowboys,” he said. “They’ve just been hitting me up all week. So, I’ve got to try to take care of business for those guys. … Everyone in the world knows that’s ‘America’s Team.’ It’s a prime-time game, playoffs. So, what better game that you’d want?”
Thanks for memories
Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips coached the Cowboys for three-plus seasons before he was fired eight games into the 2010 season and replaced by Jason Garrett.
“He’s a better head coach than I was and done better,” said Phillips, who had a 34-22 record and was 1-2 in the playoffs.
Garrett has a 77-59 record and is 2-2 in the playoffs, including last week’s wild-card victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Phillips got some revenge last season when the Rams defeated the Cowboys, 35-30, in Arlington, Texas, but holds no hard feelings toward Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. He reiterated that he will be forever indebted to the Jones family for providing his family with air transportation to his father’s funeral in 2013.
“If you work for Jerry Jones, you’re part of the family,” Phillips said. “I keep telling him not to send us Christmas gifts, but he does.”
"It wasn’t money,” Phillips said, laughing. “I know they gave us a ball to hang on the tree with a picture of Jerry — not really.”
Phillips was certain the ornament was expensive.