By Cedric Williams
The Los Angeles Rams will be without two key starters, one on offense and one on defense, when they take the field Sunday for a road game against the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals.
WR Robert Woods (shoulder) and OLB Connor Barwin (broken arm) were both listed as out and will be unavailable to play on Sunday. Head coach Sean McVay has been optimistic about both players’ chances of returning soon from their respective injuries, but he has said the team expects Woods and Barwin to both be out at least a couple of weeks.
On the positive side, RBs Malcolm Brown and Lance Dunbar were both listed as questionable for Sunday, after serving as full participants in practice on Friday. Both, either, or neither might play on Sunday, which presents an intriguing set of circumstances for offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, who has been looking for ways to keep starting RB Todd Gurley fresh throughout games.
“We have a lot of confidence in both of those guys going in and being able to execute the same way that when Todd’s in the game,” LaFleur told the team’s website on Friday. “So yeah, it allows us to keep him a little more fresh so that when it gets down to crunch time, he’s got a full head of steam behind him.”
Arizona had four players ruled out on its official injury report.
WR John Brown (toe), LB Deone Bucannon (ankle), S Rudy Ford (knee) and DL Corey Peters (ankle) all found themselves unable to participate in any of their team’s practices this week, and none of the four will play on Sunday.
The most significant name on Arizona’s Week 13 injury report was that of RB Adrian Peterson (neck), who was listed as questionable. Arizona head coach Bruce Arians called Peterson a “game-time decision” when asked throughout the week his thoughts about the veteran RB’s chances of playing this week.