IRVINE, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley thought he saw New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia on Thursday, only for teammates to convince him otherwise.
It turns out Gurley's first instinct was right on, as Sabathia and Yankees manager Joe Girardi visited training camp at UC Irvine before starting a weekend series against the Angels.
"I did see CC," Gurley said. "I knew I wasn't tripping."
Rams fans will get their own 'blink and miss it' moment when Gurley plays in the preseason for the first time Saturday. He didn't play in any exhibition games last year while still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during his final season at Georgia. The absence of action didn't seem to hinder Gurley, who rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie.
Coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday that Gurley would play one series against the Kansas City Chiefs, perhaps two before taking a seat. Asked what he wanted to see from the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year,
"A couple carries, maybe some protection stuff, and get him out," Fisher said.
That's fine by Gurley. He couldn't remember what he was doing during the preseason last year, aside from some pregame warmups.
"Don't even want to remember," Gurley said.
Gurley is looking forward to live action, as there are limits to what practice can accomplish in preparing for the regular season.
"You can do that stuff in practice, but those game reps creep up on you a lot faster," Gurley said.
Game reps will also be coming for rookie quarterback Jared Goff. The No. 1 overall draft pick from California will play with the first-string offense, though Case Keenum will take the first snaps.
Fisher said starters on both sides of the ball will play into the second quarter.
"Our plan is to get Jared in with the ones for a series or two, see how that goes, and let Jared play into the third quarter," Fisher said. "It's important to get him in there with the starters and the ones, so I think it will be a good experience for him."
Defensive end Robert Quinn will not make his preseason debut after a quick trip to the Rio Olympics to see his sister compete in the 100-meter hurdles.
Quinn was back for Thursday's no-pads session, but Fisher didn't want to risk playing him in a game given the lengthy travel involved.
"I think it makes sense for us to hold Robert for another week. He had a good practice today," Fisher said. "His sleep is a little off. He's in great shape so I think we will hold Rob until we go to Denver."
Hybrid linebacker-safety Mark Barron will be a game-time decision, Fisher said. Barron has not practiced for the last three days, though Fisher downplayed his absence and attributed it to rest.
NOTES: Cornerback E.J. Gaines was helped off the field with an apparent leg injury during a two-minute drill near the end of practice. Fisher said Gaines had made everyone "a little nervous, but he's OK." Gaines missed last season with a foot injury and has been limited in training camp with a mild hamstring strain. ... Wide receiver Tavon Austin made a memorable one-handed catch during a team period, pinning the ball against cornerback Lamarcus Joyner's back before controlling it. ... Lawrence McCutcheon, who spent 42 years with the Rams as a player and scout, announced his retirement.