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Rams may rest starters for finale vs. 49ers

12/27/2017 8:30:58 AM
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Several key Los Angeles Rams starters may sit for Sunday's regular-season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, Alden Gonzalez of reports.

First-year head coach Sean McVay indicated Tuesday that the Rams, who clinched a division title last week, prefer to keep key players fresh as opposed to fighting for positioning in the NFC playoffs. The Rams (11-4) don't have a chance at a first-round bye and will either be the third or fourth seed.

"Every single game is important," McVay told the media from the team facility in Thousand Oaks, California. "But I think it will provide an opportunity for us to potentially get some guys healthier, rest them, give some other guys a chance to step up. How that affects the guys that are healthy that we want to be smart with is going to be determined as the week progresses. But it is one of those deals where I think you might see us rest some guys."

The Rams would more than likely rest veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan for Sunday's home game against the 49ers. If that's the case, quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley II probably would not play either. Sean Mannion is Goff's backup and Malcolm Brown would stand to get the majority of the carries in Gurley's absence.

McVay also mentioned inside linebackers Mark Barron and Alec Ogletree as candidates to not play. Other key veterans -- such as receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, defensive linemen Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, outside linebackers Robert Quinn and Connor Barwin, cornerback Trumaine Johnson, safety Lamarcus Joyner and offensive lineman Rodger Saffold -- could also at least see a limited workload.

"You don't ever take anything for granted, but knowing that you do have a home playoff game regardless of how things play out, this might provide an opportunity for us to get some guys healthy," McVay said. "That's a luxury that we want to try to take advantage of."

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