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Video: Rams Take Care of Business in London; Beat Up Bengals 24-10

The Rams went overseas on Sunday and played well, as they did enough to top the winless Cincinnati Bengals 24-10 to move to 5-3 on the year.

Todd Gurley Misses Practice with a Left Thigh Contusion

Todd Gurley popped up on Los Angeles’ first injury report of the week, Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com reports.

The Rams running back did not practice Wednesday with a quad injury. Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters Gurley is “day-to-day” with a left thigh contusion.

Gurley was joined on the sidelines by linebacker Clay Matthews (jaw), cornerback Aqib Talib (ribs) and linebacker Natrez Patrick (hamstring). Receiver Brandin Cooks (concussion), safety Taylor Rapp (ankled) and linebacker Bryce Hager (shoulder) were limited.

Bothered by a knee injury late last season, the Rams running back has been relatively healthy so far in 2019. Gurley has played in all five of L.A.’s games, averaging 15.6 touches and 67.6 total yards per contest.

Gurley has played over 60 snaps in each of the Rams’ last two games. On the season, Gurley has been on-field for 262 snaps, or 75.5 percent of L.A.’s offensive plays. Malcolm Brown has filled in when Gurley is off the field.

Sean McVay Claims RB Todd Gurley is Not on a Load Management Program

Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters Monday that running back Todd Gurley is not on a load management program, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN reports.

“We’re not doing anything like that,” McVay said. “It’s more along the lines of each week presents a different approach. It’s kind of the feel the flow of the game.”

Gurley, a two-time All Pro, rushed for 43 yards on 14 carries in a 20-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday night.

“I have to do better about being able to give him a chance to really get more into a rhythm than what I’ve enabled him to do in these first three games,” McVay said.

Gurley’s production has been markedly down from the 2018 season when he rushed for 1,251 yards and caught 59 passes for 580 yards. He led the league with 21 touchdowns.

Rams vs Panthers NFL Week One Inactives

Rams

OT Bobby Evans
DT Greg Gaines
CB David Long
TE Johnny Mundt
LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
C Coleman Shelton
WR Nsimba Webster

Panthers

DT Vernon Butler
OG Brandon Greene
QB Will Grier
LB Bruce Irvin
LB Jordan Kunaszyk
OT Greg Little
WR Brandon Zylstra

Rams Agree to a One-Year Deal Worth $4.25 Million with Punter Johnny Hekker

The Rams and punter Johnny Hekker have agreed to terms on a one-year, $4.25 million contract extension, which includes $3 million in guarantees, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports via Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.

Hekker is now under contract with the team through the 2023 season and has $18.75 million remaining on his deal.

Hekker is a four-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection. He has appeared in 112 games and averages 47 yards per punt.

A former high school quarterback, Hekker’s arm has been utilized on several trick plays throughout his seven-season career. He has completed 11 of 19 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.

He also has stepped in as a kicker. Last season, after kicker Greg Zuerlein suffered a groin injury during pregame warmups in Week 2, Hekker kicked a 20-yard field goal and an extra point in a 34-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Hekker’s deal comes only days after the Rams signed quarterback Jared Goff to a four-year, $134 million extension, with a record-breaking $110 million in guarantees, and tight end Tyler Higbee signed a four-year extension worth $31 million over his five remaining seasons.

Sporting News Picks the NFL 2019 Division Winners – Where Do the Rams Fall?

It’s that time of the year when national pundits start to look ahead and pick records for teams around the league, as well as pick the winners of the divisions.

Sporting News is out with their 2019 predictions, and they have their picks in for the NFC West.

To the surprise of no one they have the Rams winning the division with a mark of 11-5, and then the Hawks and 49ers both at 8-8, and last are the Cards who they say will end the year at a tough 3-13.

Here’s the complete rundown of who Sporting News likes along with the Super Bowl teams.

American Airlines the First Big Name Sponsor for the New Rams Stadium

The future home for both the Rams and the Chargers is coming along, and Associated Press reports that the first sponsor for the stadium has been decided upon, as American Airlines has invested a lot of dough to be a founding partner.

Here’s the report from AP:

The LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park announced that American Airlines will be a founding partner. The airline will be the naming rights partner for American Airlines Plaza, which will be a 2½-acre, two-level open-air space that will serve as the main entrance into the 70,000-seat stadium and 6,000-seat performance venue.

The announcement took place Tuesday in front of the stadium, which is 75 percent complete and slated to open next July.

“Anytime you get to this point in the project you are having these sorts of announcements,” said Jason Gannon, the managing director for the LA Stadium and Entertainment District. “It is also a moment when you can see how the stadium and vision is being put together.”

The nearly $5 billion complex — which sits on 298 acres in Inglewood, is being built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke. It will also include retail and office space as well as apartments.

Steven Jackson Inks a One-Day Contract with the Rams; Slapped with a Drug Test

Former NFL running back Steven Jackson was happy to rejoin the league with a one-day contract to officially retire with the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams but was not so happy with the summons to submit to a drug test according to Jared Schwartz of the New York Post.

“Dear NFL can you tell Mr. Lombardo that I signed a one day contract,” Jackson said. “I will not be reporting today for my random drug test screening. Thanks in advance #retirement life.”

While Jackson has kept himself in great shape and looks like he could play tomorrow, the reality is that he is a 36-year-old whose last NFL action was a short stint with the New England Patriots, capping off an illustrious 12-year career.

All players are required to submit to a once-a-year drug test sometime between 4/20 and early August-and apparently that includes players who only join the roster for a day so they can ceremoniously retire with their original team and have no interest in actually playing. While this is set up by an independent administrator rather than the league office, it doesn’t seem like it should take a Rhodes Scholar to differentiate between actual players and guys like Jackson.

Possibly another issue to bring up for the new CBA.