Todd Gurley, the Los Angeles Rams All-Pro running back, had a mysterious ending to what started out as a big season for the running back. Gurley finished the season with 1,831 yards rushing, 21 touchdowns and would have had well over 2,000 yards if not for missing the last two games of the season.
Gurley had been bitten by the injury bug before, when he was still in college at Georgia, which caused his stock to drop in the draft. There are also some questions surrounding how the Rams handled the reporting of the injury. Gurley injured the knee in Week 1 of the regular season, according to Maurice Jones-Drew, the radio analyst of the Rams. At the time, the injury was reported as just soreness and inflammation in the knee which we later find out would be arthritis. Gurley continued to play and the injury just got worse as the season progressed, causing him to sit out the last two games of the regular season.
Gurley had three weeks of rest between his last game in the regular season and then looked to be in mid-season form by the Divisional Round of the playoffs, as Gurley rushed for 115 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown.
In the NFC championship and the Super Bowl, Gurley was a non-factor, as backup C.J. Anderson carried the load. Gurley had just 14 carries combined in the championship game and Super Bowl and was seen many times riding the bike trying to stay loose or sitting on the bench with a towel over his head.
The Rams have reasons to be concerned as they signed Gurley to a four-year, $60 million contract with $45 million guaranteed. Part of that $60 million included a $20 million signing bonus.
Gurley did not participate in minicamp and suggested that he would lose weight in order to take some pressure off the knee. Sean McVay, who spoke to reporters at mini-camp, said that the team would reduce Gurley’s workload in order to keep him fresh this year. McVay ran Gurley at will last season.
Gurley will probably be very limited in training camp, as the Rams want to make sure his knee is healthy and that he will be ready for the first game of the season in early September. Gurley would need a major setback for the Rams to put him on the IR to start the season.
The division is much improved, with San Francisco adding some key pieces on both sides of the ball, and you can never count out the Seattle Seahawks. Earning the division title will not be a cakewalk for the Rams like it was last year. They will need a healthy Todd Gurley to hold off the 49ers, Seahawks, and Cardinals.