In his first game action in two months, Andrew Whitworth shook off the rust and played 67 snaps in the Los Angeles Rams 30-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card round.
The 39-year-old Whitworth appeared to come through the game healthy. He suffered an MCL and PCL tear in his left knee in a Week 10 contest against the Seahawks, and through rest and recovery managed to make it back on the field in time for the postseason.
With the game in hand, Whitworth was replaced by Joe Noteboom for the final series, but says he felt good afterwards.
“It’s one of those things, I knew today was going to be about being a warrior,” Whitworth said after the game. “Obviously, tearing my MCL and my PCL only eight weeks ago, I knew this was going to be rare territory and going to take a heck of an effort to get through the game and that was really the problem that you can’t simulate.
“You go through the week and you can feel good doing things, but there’s no way to know can I make it through a three-and-a-half hour game and how to simulate anything similar to that. I knew it was going to take some grit and some determination to do that.”
Now, Whitworth we’ll see if he can do it again on Saturday in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs on the road against the Green Bay Packers. Rams head coach Sean McVay said he’ll take care of Whitworth during the practice week. Whitworth was a limited participant on Tuesday, an estimation of his participation because the Rams just had a walk-through practice.
“Andrew brings a spark to our team, to our offense,” McVay said. “He was physical. You can really see it show up early on in the game. I thought you could just feel his energy throughout, and it was great to have him back.”
Whitworth’s said Saturday’s game will not be decided by trick plays or scheme, but which team can impose their will at Lambeau Field.
“You watch playoff football, it’s about guys making football plays, and guys make special plays down there to win you a game or lose you a game,” Whitworth said. “To me, that’s the biggest thing that I’ve been chirping to our guys and our players on offense, is the bottom line is it’s going to come down to who makes the plays.
“Are you going to make a tough catch? Are you going to make a tough run? Are you going to do something where it’s going to be covered, but we still come out on the positive end of it because you found a way to make the play? You watch playoff football, that’s what it comes down to. You’re not going to outsmart everybody; you’re not going to have trick plays that work. For the majority of the time, it’s going to come down to who wins those big opps (opportunities), and we just have to keep focused on when it is time to be big and it’s time to make those plays, make them happen.”