THOUSAND OAKS — For the first time in more than three weeks, things sounded and felt different for Todd Gurley II.
The Rams’ running back wasn’t being asked about his knee, or his status for Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
It was plain to see.
Gurley is ready.
“It feels good,” Gurley said of the knee whose inflammation cost him the final two games of the regular season and also kept him sidelined on the Rams’ bye week last week. “It was good to get on the field and get some reps and try to get up to speed.”
The 6-foot-1, 231-pound running back was a full participant in practice for the first time in nearly a month.
Gurley’s name was not listed on the Rams’ daily injury report.
“He looks like Todd,” reported Rams coach Sean McVay. “He looks like the explosive, great back we’ve become accustomed to seeing. He’s had a great week of preparation.”
McCoy said there will be a division of labor between Gurley and C.J. Anderson, the veteran back the Rams picked up after Gurley’s injury.
Anderson ran for 299 yards in his first two starts in a Rams uniform.
The Rams will need all the help they can get in the running game against Dallas’ resurgent defense.
In their last four games, including last week’s NFC Wild-card win over the Seattle Seahawks, the Cowboys have limited opponents to an average of fewer than 39 yards rushing per game. and barely three yards per carry.
Dallas has won three of those four games.
The visitors will also challenge the Rams defense with tailback Ezekiel Elliott, who won his second NFL rushing title in his three pro seasons this year.
“He’s a big, strong, fast back,” Gurley said. “We’re alike in that way. He delivers against defenses lined up to stop him week after week.
“Obviously, they’ve got to hype this thing up: ‘Zeke vs. Gurley’. But it’s not really about us. It’s a team game. He’s a great back, and I guess I’m not too bad myself.”