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Wednesday's roundup: Rookie Gurley on roll for Rams

Associated Press
Todd Gurley

St. Louis — The last two games, Todd Gurley has 305 yards rushing. Just wait, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher says, until the rookie is 100 percent.

The 10th pick of the draft appears ahead of schedule coming off left knee surgery that cut short his final college season at Georgia. He's wearing a brace in games to protect the knee, but that hasn't been a hindrance, judging from the production.

"I mean, I'm fine," Gurley said after practice Wednesday. "I'm pretty sure 100 percent of the guys in the NFL are not 100 percent and I've been doing fine so far. Just got to stay on top of things."

In a conference call with reporters in Cleveland, this week's opponent, Gurley said he can do everything he could before getting hurt. He said there was plenty of room for improvement across the board.

"I've seen plenty of guys come back from this injury," Gurley said. "I felt like I didn't have any problems, that I should be able to come back and play."

Fisher wouldn't place a percentage on Gurley's health, but said it was prudent to protect the ACL.

"You look around the league, it takes more than just a year to come back," Fisher said. "Todd's a year out, that's why I say he's not 100 percent. He's going to continue to get better."

Gurley is rested coming off the break after getting heavy duty in a loss at Green Bay, gaining 159 yards on 30 carries. During the bye week, he attended the Missouri-Georgia game in Athens and didn't feel like he should be out there.

"My days are done," Gurley joked. "I play on Sundays now."

Backup Tre Mason, the primary starter as a rookie last year, injured his right ankle against the Packers and had just five snaps, gaining 8 yards on two carries.

"Ideally, we'd like to have the one-two punch and over time, get Tre a lot more touches," Fisher said.

Gurley said he was "definitely surprised" to be doing so well so soon. But he added, "I'm definitely confident in myself and know what I'm capable of."

The Browns know, too. Coach Mike Pettine said in a conference call with St. Louis reporters that Cleveland had considered taking Gurley with the 12th pick. Cleveland ended up drafting nose tackle Danny Shelton, who has started every game and has 14 tackles.

"Had he been available," Pettine said, "it certainly would have been in the discussion."

The Rams (2-3) will be playing a team that's last in the NFL in rush defense. The Browns (2-4) surrendered 98 yards on 10 carries to Tennessee's Dexter McCluster, 139 yards and a touchdown to Oakland's Latavius Murray, 121 yards to Baltimore's Justin Forsett, and 111 yards to Denver's Ronnie Hillman.

Jackson will play

Seattle running back Fred Jackson will play Thursday night against San Francisco after being examined by the team following a minor car crash, coach Pete Carroll said.

Jackson participated in the team's walkthrough practice before departing to face the 49ers. It's the second car accident the Seahawks are dealing with after fullback Derrick Coleman was involved in a two-car crash last week that led to his arrest for investigation of vehicular assault and hit-and-run.

Heyward fight over

Cam Heyward is done fighting with the NFL over writing his father's nickname on his eye black.

The Steelers defensive end released a statement saying that he met with NFL officials after the league fined him for writing "Iron Head" on his eye black in consecutive weeks. Craig "Iron Head" Heyward played 11 seasons in the NFL as a running back for several teams. He died from cancer in 2006.

Heyward will wear plain eye black going forward and has started an initiative with EyeBlack.com to help provide money for cancer research.

Cheerleaders win

The Bengals reached tentative settlement of a federal lawsuit over pay for their cheerleaders, one of several cases in which NFL cheerleaders claimed they received substandard compensation.

Documents filed recently in U.S. District Court show the Bengals agreed to pay Ben-Gal cheerleaders a total of $255,000 to settle the 2014 lawsuit alleging that their time commitments for games, practices and promotional events netted them payment that was below minimum wage.

Mariota outlook good

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota did not practice Wednesday, giving the sprained MCL in his left knee a day of rest. Mariota was not wearing any protective gear on his injured leg as he talked about playing Sunday.

Mariota, a rookie, said his chances of playing against the Atlanta are pretty good.

"You got to be able to show that you buy into what's going on here, and I'm going to do my best to make sure that I'm prepared and hopefully can go on Sunday," Mariota said.

Mariota sprained the ligament in his knee when hit low by Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon in last week's 38-10 loss to Miami, and Vernon said the NFL fined him for the hit.