Gurley 'eager' to see how knee responds vs. Cowboys

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Todd Gurley hasn't played a football game in three weeks and has dealt with a knee issue for more than a month now.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Rams' running back was back on the practice field for the first time since Dec. 16. He was officially listed as limited but is on track to start Saturday's Divisional Round showdown with the Dallas Cowboys.

"I'm really just eager to just get back on the field and just see how it responds. And then, hopefully, you'll have some new questions next week," Gurley said of his knee, via the team's official website.

For a superstar, Gurley's injury has flown under the radar seemingly because the football cognoscenti expect the Pro Bowler to return to full form after missing the past three weeks.

The Rams were fortunate enough to be able to shut him down to close the season, then earned an extra week with the playoff bye. Gurley believes the rest should bring him near full-health entering Saturday night.

"See how I wake up and feel tomorrow," he said. "But, everything went pretty good, so just super excited about that."

Gurley will play versus the Cowboys; the question will be how much and how effective he'll be coming off the injury.

The 24-year-old is at his best on the ground when he can get to the edge and plow over defenders. Gurley has gained 803 of his 1,251 rush yards after contact this season (6th-most in NFL), per Pro Football Focus -- 31 missed tackles on rushes this season is tied for 12th most in NFL. How much the knee injury might affect his power and cutting ability won't be known until Saturday.

Cowboy coach Jason Garrett is wary of the difficult matchup Gurley provides when healthy.

"He has everything you want in a running back," Garrett said. "He's quick, he's fast, he's explosive. He's strong, has great instincts for the game, great feel for the game, outstanding vision. He can beat you with speed. He can beat you with power. He can beat you cutting back. He can beat you when they hand him the ball. He can beat you when they throw him the ball. He plays with a competitive spirit."

Facing a Cowboys defense that just shut down the Seattle Seahawks' vaunted rushing attack, it will be interesting to see Sean McVay's plan early in the contest. Will he try to pound away with Gurley or eschew the run game for a play-action heavy passing assault?

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