Few players in the NFL have been as productive as Todd Gurley has when healthy, but that unpredictable factor has been a major question mark throughout the offseason for the Los Angeles Rams.
Gurley eclipsed 1,800 total yards for the second straight season last year, but he missed the last two regular season games with a knee injury, which also limited him to just 34 touches in three postseason games.
The Athletic’s Jay Glazer addressed Gurley’s health in a Q&A on Thursday, where he answered a fan’s question about his repeated concern for the All-Pro back:
“It is a concern. The sky isn’t falling but even now, they’re being smart about it. It did swell up on him last year, this is a knee that has had wear and tear. Eventually, you’re going to factor this in especially with them having to sit him down the stretch last year. It’s not all doom and gloom, but it is definitely something you have to monitor and be prepared for in case that thing blows up on him again. We already learned that lesson last year. That’s why he isn’t doing any on-field work yet.”
With Gurley's cap hit rising to $9.2 million this season — not to mention $17.25 million next year — his health will be of the upmost concern. With him nearly taking up 10 percent of the team’s salary cap soon, they won’t be able to take a zero from him.
That Gurley has yet to participate in on-field drills during OTAs is a little concerning, and it will be worth keeping an eye on him during the team’s mandatory minicamp from June 11-13.
What would the Rams do without Gurley?
Los Angeles was without its first- and second-round picks in April’s draft but traded its first two picks to move up in the third round to select Darrell Henderson. The third running back taken in the draft, Henderson racked up 1,909 rushing yards at Memphis last season, which was good for second in the nation.
Gurley is not expected to miss any game time at this point, but it would not be surprising to see him dip below 20 touches per game or 300 touches per season. The Rams need to maintain his health, and their investment in Henderson shows that they don’t need Gurley to shoulder such a large load going forward.
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