2019 Super Bowl injuries: Patriots list key defender on injury report, Rams call Greg Zuerlein limited
The Patriots had just one injury to list on their initial practice report Wednesday
Both the Patriots and Rams have been in excellent health in January, and being virtually at full-strength has likely played a role in both teams advance to Super Bowl LIII, which you can stream here on CBSSports.com or on CBS All Access. Both teams lost a key receiver during the season (Cooper Kupp for the Rams, Josh Gordon for the Patriots), and Todd Gurley missed some time with a knee injury, but the Rams didn't really miss a step with C.J. Anderson's breakout performance.
While Gurley is the key player to watch this week after seeing just four carries in his team's win over the Saints, he insisted his lack of work wasn't due to his health, and the betting markets have reflected that he should be available in full for this game. The team's first injury report of the week agreed, and while two Rams players were less than 100 percent, neither was the talented running back.
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The Patriots did have one player at less than full participation to start the week, with defensive tackle Malcom Brown limited due to a calf injury. He spent most of Wednesday's practice on the sidelines.
"[Brown] did some stuff early in practice today," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, per the pool report. "Everybody else was good to go."
While Brown doesn't rack up stats at the defensive tackle position, he does see plenty of work. He saw 43.7 percent of the team's defensive snaps during the regular season, which was the third-most for all defensive linemen behind Trey Flowers and Lawrence Guy. However, that usage has gone down in the playoffs, with Brown on the field just 23 percent of the time against the Chargers and 33 percent of the time against the Chiefs. Still, if for some reason he can't go, those snaps have to be filled, perhaps by Danny Shelton, who didn't play at all in the AFC Championship Game.
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On the Rams' side, kicker Greg Zuerlein was listed as limited with a foot injury he sustained during the NFC Championship Game. Coach Sean McVay said the Rams were simply "being smart" with their kicker, so don't expect his injury to keep him from playing on Sunday.
In addition to Zuerlein, the Rams listed defensive back Blake Countess as missing practice with a foot injury of his own. Countess' biggest impact comes on special teams, as the safety played just 58 defensive snaps during the regular season.
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