Todd Gurley won't play this week; Jared Goff might sit

Add Sean McVay to the advocates of the August mantra of "it's only the preseason" -- at least when it comes to some of his star players.

The Los Angeles Rams coach told reporters Thursday that running back Todd Gurley will not play in Saturday's game against the Houston Texans, and there's a chance Jared Goff won't play, either.

Leave it to the 32-year-old to buck preseason Week 3 conventions by sitting two of his offensive playmakers, but there is a reason for the apparent on-the-surface madness. Starting offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan will not play and Rob Havenstein is dealing with an ankle issue that could keep him out, too.

While Gurley definitely won't play, the door is slightly ajar for Goff if Havenstein manages to line up. Still, McVay didn't seem too confident about the Rams faithful getting their first glimpse of Goff this week. Nor does he feel Goff needs to play at some point this preseason to avoid looking rusty for Week 1.

"The way that we would operate if he does play is not going to be anything close to the way that we'll operate in a normal game," McVay said. "... We're not game planning, we're not doing things that are consistent with our normal approach."

Gurley isn't brokenhearted over being on sideline duty until September.

"That is everyone's dream not to play in the preseason," Gurley said.

The development means we might have to wait until Week 1 to see Gurley and Goff together on the field. It's pretty unusual for a team not to play some of their starters for at least a series or two during the preseason -- especially in Week 3, which is considered the holy of holies in the sanctum of the preseason calendar.

Perhaps McVay will buck tradition again in seven days and play Goff in the final preseason game -- a match usually dedicated for evaluating roster bubble players -- but don't count on it.