With the only thing left to be decided for the Los Angeles Rams being their fate as the sixth or seventh seed in the NFC, head coach Sean McVay has taken the liberty to rest a handful of key starters.

As expected, quarterback Matthew Stafford, receiver Cooper Kupp, defensive lineman Aaron Donald, linebacker Ernest Jones, and running back Kyren Williams will all be ruled out against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 18.However, offensive lineman Joe Noteboom and tight end Tyler Higbee will be out with actual injuries. The former is dealing with a foot injury, the latter with a shoulder ailment. Noteboom was able to play in Week 17’s win over the New York Giants, but with no need to push anyone on Sunday, Los Angeles will take extra precautions.

“When you look at it, what we just felt like was this approach was the best one for our team,” McVay said.

The lineman also received the team’s Ed Block Courage Award.

Notably, rookie receiver Puka Nacua will be active in Levi’s Stadium as he attempts to break the single-season record for catches and receiving yards for a rookie. Look for him to get action quickly before putting a playoff appearance at risk.

As for the good news, center Brian Allen, tackle Rob Havenstein, safety Jordan Fuller, defensive back Tre Tomlinson, and defensive linemen Desjuan Johnson and Bobby Brown III were all full participants for Friday’s practice, boding well for playing time on Sunday.

Tyler Higbee

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