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So here’s how it was explained is that this was a put on and tear challenge.

Todd Gurley had 315 touches, fourth-most of any player in the NFL and that is sitting out two games. Given that 2015, he’s had almost 1,229 touches. That is the most of any player.

So they stated as the season wore on, that knee became a small bit worn down. Recall, that is the knee he injured in college. So once more, there was no certain injury. He was sore. He was feeling one thing correct there, but when it came to the usage, it was not injury-connected. This was extra coaching choice-primarily based in terms of the usage or lack thereof of Todd Gurley in these final two playoff games.

That was NFL Network’s Steve Wyche almost two months ago on the injury Los Angeles Rams RB Just Todd Gurley was suffering from at the finish of the frequent season.

The saga of Gurley’s knee has taken a lot of twists and turns because Super Bowl LIII, the most current coming yesterday when Rams HC McVay and Gurley, amongst other Rams, addressed convened media as the Rams started their official offseason system.

Provided Gurley’s jobshare in the postseason with RB C.J. Anderson who wasn’t even on the group till Week 16, it was fair to anticipate a lowered part for Gurley in 2019. What ever the “wear and tear” challenge which may well or may well not have been connected to the arthritis he’s supposedly suffering from, continuing to give Gurley as quite a few touches seemed probably unlikely.

Welp:

(four:55 mark for the relevant query)

(On RB Malcolm Brown’s usage this season and if it will be a two-back strategy with him and Gurley)

“I feel Todd has shown that he is capable of carrying the workload. We have a lot of self-confidence in (RB) Malcolm (Brown). For us, you want to be sensible about that, but I feel, like we talked about the other day, Todd is a guy that is been a focal point of this offense. He’s going to continue to be. Definitely, what resulted in (a two-back strategy at the finish of final year), was since (Gurley) was forced to miss some games at the finish of the year and we wanted to be sensible about managing that load. Todd has shown that he can deal with that. How we navigate via a season, it is tough to say, but we anticipate like we stated the other day, (Gurley) becoming the focal point of our offense. Unless I’m told otherwise, he’s a quite versatile back and we’re going to continue to make use of all of his skillsets.”

It is an fascinating answer and a single that matches what McVay stated not too long ago on the Wealthy Eisen Show:

(two:22 mark for the relevant quote)

You can count on Todd to be the focal aspect of our offense once more as we move forward. He’s feeling superior. He’s in a superior location. I just feel the organic ebbs and flows when you play 19 games, and I know he missed a couple with the quantity of operate that he got, it just worked out that way at the finish of the year.

He got a really related workload in ‘17. The anticipation for us is he’s in a superior location. He’s feeling superior. He’s going to continue to be a central aspect of our offense going into the ‘19 season, and I do not see that altering.

So it is worth clarifying exactly where factors stand with the 2019 NFL Draft coming in just a week.

Neither McVay nor Gurley in his remarks yesterday alluded to the thought that he’s going to be totally wholesome for Week 1. Naturally, as Todd himself noted, it is somewhat not possible to know how his knee will heal more than the subsequent 4 months. But there was a notable lack of similarity among McVay’s comments on Todd’s injury and his response on WR Cooper Kupp exactly where he was decidedly extra certain and upbeat. That is not to say McVay wasn’t as upbeat or optimistic about Todd, but probably extra respectful of the unknown.

Due to the fact that is actually what this is all about. The unknown of how Todd Gurley’s knee will respond. Gurley aggravated the knee in Week 1, but it responded properly adequate for Gurley to continue to be the bellcow. Soon after Week 15, not so considerably.

The anxiousness is going to be unavoidable. We just do not know when Gurley’s knee will react like it did in Week 1 and when it will react like it did in Week 15.

But clearly, much less is extra in this case. The much less Gurley exposes himself, the extra probably he remains wholesome.

If we’re to take McVay’s words to account although, it sounds as if we shouldn’t count on to see Gurley considerably much less than we did all through the final two seasons.

Right here have been Gurley’s carries per week:


That is a quite stark decline more than the course of the season without having any key loss of operate due to personnel. Although Brown was injured in Week 13, the Rams didn’t respond with any personnel adjust at operating back furthermore, neither John Kelly nor Justin Davis picked up any extra operate than Brown had in backing up Gurley.

In the 1st 12 games of the season, Gurley accounted for 83.83% of the team’s carries. In the subsequent two without having Brown, that quantity barely moved at all escalating to 85.19%. In the playoff jobshare with Anderson across 3 games? Gurley accounted for 56.96%, 46.38% and 66.15% of the Rams’ carries.

So what does becoming a “focal point” or “central point” imply? Does it imply operate prices above 80% and workloads of extra than 15 carries per game? Does it imply much less and let for an expanded part for Brown? Do the Rams intend on taking a operating back in the draft to take on that part?

It is tough to say correct now.

But the Rams cannot basically use Gurley with reckless abandon. They re-signed him to a huge deal in July worth $60m with 75% of it assured at signing. The earliest the Rams could get out of the deal would be the 2021 offseason and that would incur dead cap space of extra than $8m.

So the Rams probably are committed to Todd Gurley for the subsequent 3 years. Managing his workload and limiting the put on and tear will be an definitely important aspect of Sean McVay’s job. Clearly in 2018, they didn’t handle it properly. It is most likely also far to recommend it expense them the Super Bowl, but only just. And the distance among that thought and reality is most likely one thing close to the distance among Todd Gurley assisting to choose the Rams’ future and a future in which he’s sitting on the sideline.

Soon after all, it is a game of inches.

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