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#pounditTuesday, June 22, 2021

Articles tagged: Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley’s trainer confirms RB is dealing with arthritis in knee

Todd Gurley

There has been a lot of talk about Todd Gurley battling knee issues since he was largely ineffective in the Super Bowl and NFC Championship Game, and we finally have confirmation that there is at least something going on.

Gurley’s trainer, Travelle Gaines, told Dave Richard of CBS Sports this week that Gurley is managing some pain and soreness in his knee, but he referred to it as an “arthritic component” that was expected after the star running back tore his ACL in college.

“Everybody knew when Todd came out of Georgia that there would be some kind of arthritic component to his knee, which is part of every surgery whether it’s a shoulder, a knee, an ankle,” Gaines said. “He’s now at the year-five mark, all we’re doing is managing that. If we can pound him less in the offseason while keeping his weight down, working on his strength, working on his agility in short areas, that’s going to give him a better chance to be healthy Weeks 14 through 17 when they really count.”

While he had a couple of big games toward the end of last season, Gurley seemed to wear down as the year went on. His 256 rushing attempts were actually his lowest mark since his rookie year in 2015, so you can understand the concerns about workload. Gaines said he is unaware of any concrete plan to reduce Gurley’s workload after the Los Angeles Rams drafted Darrell Henderson in the third round, whom he described Henderson as a “home-run type guy.”

Gurley tore his ACL in 2014 at Georgia. His struggles in the Super Bowl led to the assumption that he must be injured, and Gaines admitted the 24-year-old was “a little tired.” However, the trainer insists Gurley’s offseason routine remains exactly the same as it has been since he entered the NFL.

“Not one thing has changed,” Gaines said. “Our routine has worked, he’s been strong, he’s been in great shape, he’s done well.”

Rams coach Sean McVay admitted this offseason that the team needs to pay more attention to Gurley’s workload, and one report claimed that was a very mild way of putting it. It’s certainly a plus that there is no structural damage, but the Rams need Gurley to be better than 35 yards on 10 carries if they want to contend for a Super Bowl again. Managing the “arthritic component” will be key to making sure he can do that.

Rams reportedly have genuine concerns about Todd Gurley’s knee

Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley has dealt with knee issues dating back to when he suffered a torn ACL at Georgia, and the same knee gave him trouble last season and limited his effectiveness late in the year. While the Los Angeles Rams have downplayed some of the concerns about the star running back, they are apparently very real.

Jay Glazer of The Athletic was asked in his most recent mailbag if the talk about Gurley having arthritis in his knee has been “overblown.” He said it is not.

“Nope, it’s not overblown. I think the biggest test will be what happens early in the season. If he runs and it doesn’t blow up and the Rams are able to use him as a workhorse, then a lot of those concerns will go away,” Glazer wrote. “If not, they’re going to have to get a little creative. They would be wise to be prepared because the knee has gone through a lot from college to now, so they’ve got to brace for it swelling up again.”

Rams coach Sean McVay admitted this offseason that the team needs to be conscious of limiting Gurley’s workload, and that is almost certainly why they used a third-round pick on former Memphis star running back Darrell Henderson. Gurley signed a four-year, $60 million contract prior to last season, so the Rams want to be smart with his usage and not run him into the ground.

While he refused to admit his knee was an issue when he rushed for 35 yards on 10 carries in the Super Bowl, Gurley clearly wasn’t himself. Having him healthy late in the season should be a priority for the Rams.

Sean McVay indicates Rams will manage Todd Gurley’s workload in 2019

Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley dealt with a knee injury down the stretch last season that clearly affected his play in the playoffs, and the Los Angeles Rams appear to be taking precautions to make sure they can avoid the same situation in 2019.

The Rams already made depth at the running back position a priority when they matched an offer sheet to restricted free agent Malcolm Brown, and they then used a third-round draft pick on former Memphis star Darrell Henderson. While Rams GM Les Snead described Henderson as the “change-of-pace” back the Rams have been looking for behind Gurley and Brown, head coach Sean McVay said the rookie could inspire him to use more two-back sets than he has in his first two seasons in LA.

“Being able to give somebody a chance to come in and provide a different threat is exactly what we identified,” McVay said, per ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry.

McVay was quick to note, however, that Henderson was drafted because he is a “unique playmaker” and not because the Rams are concerned about Gurley’s knee. Though, the coach did admit that managing Gurley’s workload is something the team will discuss.

“As far as managing the workload, those are things that we talk about with Todd and as you continue to get educated on, is that something that we should do for the long haul or something that is or isn’t going to affect Todd most importantly and how does that affect our team,” McVay said.

Gurley signed a four-year, $60 million extension prior to last season. The Rams made a huge investment in him, and the last thing they want to do is run him into the ground. Having a back that can spell him or play alongside him is smart, even if it is not going to please fantasy football owners.

While he refused to admit his knee was an issue when he rushed for 35 yards on 10 carries in the Super Bowl, Gurley clearly wasn’t himself. Having him healthy late in the season should be a priority for the Rams.

Todd Gurley refuses to blame knee for poor Super Bowl

Todd Gurley

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley was largely anonymous during the team’s 13-3 Super Bowl LIII loss to the New England Patriots, and many speculated that his knee was a reason why.

Gurley wasn’t really a factor at any point in the game, getting just 10 carries for a total of 35 yards. After the game, though, he refused to blame his knee, saying he was “fine.”

Many likely won’t believe Gurley, but he’s certainly refusing to use his knee as an excuse for back-to-back poor showings. We may yet hear more about this in the days to come, but whatever the case, it’s an odd coincidence that he was a non-factor in both the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl.

Five biggest disappointments of Super Bowl LIII

Sean McVay stunned

Few expected Super Bowl LIII to be a total defensive struggle, but that’s what we got in a 13-3 New England Patriots victory. New England’s latest title comes at the expense of the Los Angeles Rams, whose high-powered offense failed to even score a touchdown in the biggest game of their season.

Here’s a look at five major disappointments from Super Bowl LIII.

Los Angeles Rams’ offense

The New England defense played great, but the Rams’ offense didn’t ever look like they were going on a run. Todd Gurley and the run game disappeared. Jared Goff was pressured and seemed confused a lot and never really found a groove or open receivers. He was slightly late on a key throw to Brandin Cooks that should have been a touchdown, and was let down by Cooks on a drop in the fourth quarter on what may have been his best throw of the day. It just didn’t work out for anyone on the Rams’ offense in the big game, which was rather shocking considering how good they were for much of the season.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams

The Rams were bad on offense all day and struggled to get anything going, but one key moment in the fourth quarter may end up being the key moment of the game. Rams receiver Brandin Cooks had a touchdown catch if he could just haul in the throw, but it slipped through his hands. On the very next play, Jared Goff threw a lame duck interception that set the Patriots up to run out the clock. Cooks will be seeing that play in his nightmares. It wasn’t an easy one, but it was certainly catchable.

Aaron Donald, DT, Rams

The Rams got a lot of pressure on Tom Brady early in the game, and Donald was in the middle of it. Ultimately, though, the Patriots’ offensive line began to take over and didn’t really let Brady take a lot of pressure in the second half. From that standpoint, Donald simply didn’t have the impact that he had hoped to have. He had five tackles, and did get one hit on Brady, but didn’t get a sack and wasn’t really a wrecking ball in the backfield. It’s a bit ruthless to say so when the Patriots were held to just 13 points, but from a standpoint of pushing New England backwards or forcing turnovers, it just didn’t happen.

Todd Gurley, RB, Rams

We will probably get more on Gurley’s status in the days to come, but Sunday did nothing to convince anyone that the Rams’ running back wasn’t playing hurt. After a lot of talk about a bigger role in the Super Bowl, Gurley was anonymous early and didn’t get a lot better as the game went on. Gurley got just 10 carries for 35 yards and lost a yard on his only reception. He didn’t ever appear fully healthy, and it wasn’t a performance he’ll want to remember.

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

Brady is a deserved winner of another Super Bowl, but this certainly won’t go down to his finest performance in a championship. A lot of his throws were off, and he threw a very bad interception in the first quarter. To Brady’s credit, he didn’t commit any further turnovers, though he had a scary moment with a sack and fumble. Brady didn’t throw for a touchdown and his one great pass of the day was to Rob Gronkowski on the ultimately winning touchdown drive, but he let the run game carry him and found Julian Edelman when he needed to. It still wasn’t a signature performance.

Todd Gurley a non-factor early in Super Bowl

Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley was a non-factor early in the Super Bowl on Sunday, sparking further concern about his health.

Gurley suffered a knee injury in the Los Angeles Rams’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 15. He then sat out the team’s final two regular season games before returning for the playoffs.

Against the Cowboys, Gurley rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown, but CJ Anderson saw more carries in that game. The split was even more heavily in Anderson’s favor against the Saints, with Anderson getting 16 carries to Gurley’s four, and Gurley saying he deserved to be benched.

Through a quarter and a half of the Super Bowl, Anderson had four carries compared to one for Gurley.

If Anderson were playing well and breaking off big runs, keeping him in would make sense. But he wasn’t, making Gurley’s absence even more pronounced.

CBS later reported that Gurley was favoring his knee, though the Rams said there was nothing to note about his status. Fans and viewers will say otherwise — there’s no reason Anderson would be getting more action than Gurley if the former first-round pick were at 100 percent.

10 players who could capture Super Bowl LIII MVP honors

Tom Brady

The big question on everyone’s mind is who will win Super Bowl LIII. There’s more than just the big prize at stake on Sunday in Atlanta, however. There are a lot of lesser prizes to claim, and not the least of them is Super Bowl MVP honors.

The joy of Super Bowl MVP is that anyone can win it. Sure, that sounds obvious on the surface, but any one player can have a big game out of nowhere, and that’s all it takes to put yourself in the conversation. Any player could jump up and surprise us and claim honors on Sunday, but some options are more obvious than others. Here are ten who would seem to stand a pretty good chance of claiming the award.

Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

If the Patriots win, it’s pretty easy to envision Brady claiming the Super Bowl MVP. The quarterback tends to play his best in big games, and this certainly counts as the biggest. The Rams can be vulnerable to the pass, and with two weeks of gameplanning, it’s pretty safe to say that Brady will be prepared for whatever Los Angeles throws at him. If he has a big game, it’s easy to see the MVP voters defaulting to him.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams

Cooks is the Rams’ big play wide receiver, the man Jared Goff counts on when he needs a big chunk of yardage. That puts Cooks in position to put up some big numbers. He had five 100-yard receiving games in the regular season, and he put up 107 yards on the New Orleans Saints during the playoffs. He hasn’t put up huge touchdown totals, but if he has a big yardage game and finds the end zone once or twice, hardware could come his way.

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Sean McVay says he needs to get Todd Gurley more involved in Super Bowl

Todd Gurley

The Los Angeles Rams are hoping that the MVP-caliber Todd Gurley who has been missing for several weeks makes a triumphant return in the Super Bowl, and head coach Sean McVay says it is on him to make that happen.

While speaking with the media on Tuesday, McVay praised Gurley for the way he has handled some tough games late in the year. He also said he needs to do a better job of calling plays that will get the star running back involved.

“I think a large part of specifically when you talk about (the NFC Championship Game) was a result of some of the things in terms of play selection,” McVay said. “I have to do a much better job for Todd to get him opportunities to get going.”

McVay added that he fully expects Gurley to be “the Todd Gurley we all know” in the Super Bowl and be a significant part of the game plan.

Gurley rushed for just 10 yards on four carries against the New Orleans Saints, though he did score a touchdown. He battled a knee injury late in the regular season that limited him to 55 or fewer rushing yards in three of the final four games, and there has been some speculation that he is still less than 100 percent healthy. CJ Anderson has helped pick up a lot of the slack, but the Rams will likely need both backs to produce in the Super Bowl.

This isn’t the first time we have heard McVay take responsibility for Gurley’s struggles, so the Patriots should be prepared for a heavy dose of the three-time Pro Bowler early and often on Sunday.

10 most important players of Super Bowl LIII

Rob Gronkowski

Just as coaching staffs have been analyzing their Super Bowl opponents and formulating gameplans, fans and pundits are looking at matchups and potential talking points for the big game. There’s a lot to digest in a matchup of Bill Belichick and Sean McVay, along with the numerous weapons both coaches have at their disposal.

Which players will matter most, though? There are several names who could flip the game if they play at their best. Here are ten key players to look out for once Super Bowl LIII kicks off.

10) C.J. Anderson, RB, Rams

It’s become abundantly clear over the course of the playoffs that Anderson has a big role in the Los Angeles offense, particularly as a vertical runner. He outran Todd Gurley against the Cowboys and got significantly more carries against the Saints. How they’ll choose to deploy him against the Patriots remains to be seen, but there’s little doubt that Anderson is in line for a major role as they try to keep the New England defense and scheme on its toes.

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Sean McVay takes responsibility for getting Todd Gurley involved more

Todd Gurley

This is exactly why players must love playing for Sean McVay.

Todd Gurley only had four carries in the NFC Championship Game last weekend. He was essentially benched in favor of CJ Anderson due to poor play, which included a drop that resulted in an interception.

Although Gurley’s poor play is the reason he didn’t see more action, McVay took responsibility this week, saying it’s on the coach to get Gurley involved more for the Super Bowl.

Gurley will probably be first up getting cracks at the New England Patriots’ defense next weekend. It will be on him to see how he performs. If he does well, the time split with Anderson will probably be much more balanced.

McVay putting things on himself rather than blame his player is the sign of true leadership and probably makes his players love him more.