Is Todd Gurley back? Rams face the Seahawks in NFC West showdown on Yahoo Sports app

Maybe the Los Angeles Rams made a mistake assuming Todd Gurley wasn’t up for a bigger workload this season.

Sean McVay was more blunt about it when asked why Gurley’s workload has increased in recent weeks.

“Me not being an idiot,” McVay said, according to the team’s transcript.

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Whatever the reason, the Rams feel they’re not dead in the playoff race and if they make the postseason it’ll be with a familiar formula, riding Gurley as the centerpiece of the offense. The Rams try to continue to turn their season around Sunday night against the 10-2 Seattle Seahawks, a game that can be live-streamed on the Yahoo Sports app.

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Maybe a simple shift in philosophy is all the Rams needed to get back on track.

Todd Gurley getting increased carries

Over the first 10 weeks of this season, Gurley’s high mark for carries was 18. That was a continuation from late last season when he and C.J. Anderson split time in the playoffs. There was plenty of discussion about a possible arthritic knee condition, and Gurley being scaled significantly back.

Then, suddenly, the Rams were leaning on Gurley again. He had 25 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Bears. He got only six carries against the Ravens in Week 12, but that was due to the Rams losing 45-6. In Week 13, he had 19 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals.

Just like that, the Gurley we were used to seeing was mostly back.

“I think he’s felt good and really, he’s done a nice job with that,” McVay said. “You look at the Chicago game and then kind of just going from there, you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you ended up making earlier on in the season. I think he’s done a nice job handling a bigger workload, but then also, you do have confidence in those other guys if they need to give him a spell.”

It’s not like Gurley is exactly the same back. His 4.2-yard average is well below the 4.7 and 4.9 he put up the previous two seasons. His 6.1 yards per catch average is way down too.

But he’s still a good option for the Rams offense.

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley has seen an increase in his workload. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley has seen an increase in his workload. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Gurley ready for more work

McVay cited the Steelers game, in which the Rams lost and Gurley didn’t have a touch in the fourth quarter, as a game he regrets.

“I think there’s some instances where, certainly, you look back and it’s always hindsight in terms of, ‘What can you do?’” McVay said. “I think the Steelers game stands out in terms of where we were running the football well and you didn’t really give him a chance to get back going based on how that thing played out. You always try to learn from your previous experiences.”

It doesn’t seem that Gurley will get lost in the game plan again this season, as long as the 7-5 Rams have playoff hopes. Los Angeles might need to win out in a tough NFC, and beating the Seahawks won’t be easy. Russell Wilson is one of the prime contenders for NFL MVP, and the Seahawks are improving each week.

Gurley will be at the centerpiece of the Rams’ late-season run if there is one. He seemed entertained by McVay’s “idiot” comment, like everyone else.

“He said it, I didn’t,” Gurley said with a laugh, according to the Rams transcript. “That’s all I got to say. I don’t have anything else to say.”

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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