Los Angeles Rams backup running back C.J. Anderson has been a tremendous help in the backfield since temporarily filling in for Todd Gurley in Week 17. In that game against the San Francisco 49ers, Anderson rushed for 132 yards on 23 carries and picked up one touchdown, showing that, at the very least, he could be a capable interim type of player until Todd Gurley could return to action.
After Super Bowl LIII, and a befuddling postseason for Gurley, Los Angeles would be wise to secure the immediate future and make Anderson a fixture in the Rams backfield in 2019. While Gurley absolutely deserves an opportunity to be the top running back heading into next season, a spotty playoff run filled with too many questions should have the LA fanbase guarded about what still may be to come.
Anderson may be the biggest reason Los Angeles made their run to Atlanta. In games against the bottom of the NFC West (Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers), Anderson would rush for 299 yards on 43 carries and two touchdowns. Contrast that to Gurley, who spent Week 16 and 17 on the sideline nursing a sore knee, and at the very least, the Rams would be smart to have an insurance policy—especially an insurance policy who delivered in the postseason.
After a solid game against the Dallas Cowboys where he would rush for 123 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown, the journeyman running back had another gem of a game, rushing for 44 yards on 16 carries against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship. All this from a guy cut by the Oakland Raiders on December 12, who would quickly make himself a fan favorite before the New Year.
As for Gurley, the questions will follow Los Angeles into the offseason. Is he hurt? How hurt is he? Does he need surgery?
While no news is often good news, an argument can be made that, in this case, being quiet could be a risky proposition. Gurley opted against speaking to the media as Rams players cleared out their lockers, which only advances the story further, especially with Los Angeles having signed him to a four-year extension last July.
With several people going as far as to suggest that the Rams cut bait on the Pro Bowl running back just one season removed from being the Offensive Player of the Year (as well as an MVP candidate just a few short months ago), a player like Anderson who flourished in five games for the Rams looks like the smart move. Especially if Gurley has bigger issues yet to be disclosed.