The Los Angeles Rams have chosen to rest multiple starters in their Week 17 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.
Multiple sources have reported that the Rams will sit quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Expect the team to announce more players later in the week.
Sean McVay’s decision comes as a slight surprise. The Rams are not locked into a playoff position. A loss combined with a win by either New Orleans or Carolina will drop the Rams to the four seed, while a win would give them the three seed.
This could be a tactical move by McVay if he hopes to fall to the four seed. While it could cost the Rams home field in the NFC Championship, it would allow the Rams to face Philadelphia in the second round rather than Minnesota. The Rams took the Eagles to the wire with Carson Wentz playing most of the game. They were manhandled by Minnesota in a bad loss earlier in the year. The Rams would much rather face a Nick Foles led Eagles team than the Vikings.
Should the Rams drop to the four seed, they’ll play either New Orleans or Carolina depending on how Week 17 plays out. If they retain the three seed, they’ll get either the Falcons or a rubber match with the Seahawks.
Sean Mannion will look to lead the Rams to victory this Sunday against the 49ers. Stay tuned to Rams Talk for more announcements on other starters being rested.
Steve Rebeiro is a staff writer and podcast host for Rams Talk. He graduated from Marquette University in 2016. For more of his opinions, follow him on Twitter here.