Greg Zuerlein kept foot injury a secret from Rams

Print
  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
More Columns >

Would the Los Angeles Rams have elected to have Greg Zuerlein attempt a 57-yard field goal in overtime of the NFC Championship Game if they had known he was injured? Maybe that's why he didn't tell anyone he was hobbled.

It's a footnote, of course, in what will go down as one of the most clutch kicks in NFL playoff history. Zuerlein's game-winning boot, as well as his 48-yard kick near the end of regulation and a 24-yarder earlier in the fourth, all came after he strained his planting foot while warming up at halftime.

Rams special teams coach Jim Fassel noted earlier this week that Zuerlein hit a steel plate in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome turf. Zuerlein didn't reveal to Fassel that he was hurting until after the game.

"Yeah, hit something hard in the ground. Just warming up at halftime, landed on something that didn't give as much as turf and then that's when it started hurting," Zuerlein said, via the Rams' official site. "But, hopefully, a few more days of treatment and it'll be good to go."

Zuerlein missed practice Friday and did not participate in the portion open to the media Saturday. But he had no injury designation in the Rams' final report of the week, which was an estimation for if Super Bowl LIII were this Sunday. Coach Sean McVay has maintained throughout the week Zuerlein is expected to play against the New England Patriots.

"One day at a time, but he's feeling good," McVay said. "No setbacks with that, so all things are pointing in the right direction for us."

Zuerlein said his left foot was in some pain after the incident, though he obviously showed no ill effects.

"It hurt, but not enough to stop me from playing, obviously," Zuerlein said. "It really wasn't anything special about it, just get the job done."

Both of his long kicks came on fourth-and-7 and with the game essentially on the line. The 57-yarder was his longest make of the season.

"As soon as you cross the 50, you legitimately feel like you're in a position to come away with points," McVay said. "I just think his resolve, his mental toughness -- watching the way that he handled being out earlier in the year and how he was so supportive of the guys that were in his role, I think demonstrated a security that exists on his part. But he's a really good, productive player. And he's been outstanding. ...

"We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him."

Print