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Rams' Gurley delights fans with leaping ability

Todd Gurley, full-time running back, part-time hurdler.

Gurley put on a show Sunday, as he caught a short pass, sprinted up the sideline and leaped over a defender on his way to an 18-yard touchdown.

The hurdles — he also jumped over a defender after a short catch early in the game — brought cheers from the Coliseum.

But after a 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins, the acrobatic moves seemed to be no big deal to Gurley.

“Just happening,” Gurley said about his leaps.

Gurley, a third-year pro, rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown in 16 carries and caught three passes for 48 yards and a touchdown.

But he also fumbled twice, and after the game Sunday was quick to mention his miscues.

“Can’t be out there fumbling,” Gurley said. “That’s something I’ve got to fix.”

Gurley lost a fumble in the second quarter that the Redskins converted into a field goal, but he recovered his own drop late in the fourth quarter.

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, Gurley said, caused his ball-security issues.

“He has that punch down pat,” Gurley said. “But that’s just no excuse for me to be out there putting the ball on the ground.”

Despite the fumbles, coach Sean McVay said Gurley did a “nice job,” and quarterback Jared Goff called his performance “tremendous.”

“We talked early on, they weren’t covering much of our backfield in the pass game,” Goff said, “so we were trying to get him the ball a little bit and sure enough we did.

“He kept jumping over people and making some plays.”

Passing punter

The Rams perfectly executed a fake punt in the fourth quarter with Johnny Hekker completing a 28-yard pass to rookie receiver Josh Reynolds.

“We’ve got a great stable of guys who stay ready for fakes, and when we can use them we’re always at an advantage so we know that we have confidence,” said Hekker, a sixth-year pro who has completed eight of 13 career passes. “We prepared like were going to run it every single week, and if we get called on we’re always ready.”

It was the first reception for Reynolds, a fourth-round draft pick from Texas A&M.

“On second or third down they said, ‘If it goes to fourth down, we’re doing this,’ ” Reynolds said. “The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘Are we actually running this?’

“After that snap of the ball, I did my route, and seeing Johnny actually throw it, I went to catch it. After that it was athletic-ability takeover and do what I can.”

The play advanced the ball to Washington’s 17-yard line, but the drive stalled because of penalties and the Rams settled for a field goal that tied the score 20-20.

Penalties at a price

Receiver Robert Woods was called for two penalties late in the fourth quarter.

“Just have to be more controlled and stay in the game and just play within the whistle,” Woods said.

A five-yard Gurley run was called back when Woods was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Later in the series, Gurley caught a nine-yard pass, but Woods was called for offensive pass interference.

The penalties hurt the Rams’ chances of scoring a go-ahead touchdown.

McVay said Woods took responsibility for his actions.

“Robert is one of the guys that we’re counting on,” McVay said. “We know that he will respond the right way.”

Rookie leads

Rookie tight end Gerald Everett provided a spark for a second consecutive week.

Everett caught a pass in the first quarter and turned it into a 69-yard gain before he was dragged down at the six-yard line. The play set up a touchdown.

“Coach McVay and the offensive staff put an emphasis on keeping the play alive,” Everett said, adding “That was just doing what we do in practice.”

Everett caught a 24-yard pass in the third quarter that sent him hobbling to the sideline. He is now day-to-day because of a thigh contusion.

“Sometimes you just got to take one for the team,” Everett said.

Everett finished with three receptions for a team-best 95 yards.

lindsey.thiry@latimes.com

Follow Lindsey Thiry on Facebook and Twitter @LindseyThiry

gary.klein@latimes.com

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @LATimesklein

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