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Rams may consider drastic option if Todd Gurley's knee regresses during offseason

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  • Rams may consider drastic option if Todd Gurley's knee regresses during offseason

    Rams may consider drastic option if Todd Gurley's knee regresses during offseason

    Todd Gurley's left knee is still an issue in Los Angeles

    by John Breech
    6 hrs ago • 5 min read

    INDIANAPOLIS -- The question of whether or not Todd Gurley is healthy has been one of the biggest mysteries in the NFL over the past few months and although the team won't come out and say it, there's definitely some concern inside the organization about his left knee.

    The Rams currently have Gurley on an offseason regimen in hopes of getting him completely healthy for the 2019 season, but if that doesn't work or if his knee regresses, the team may consider stem cell treatment for their star running back, according to a team source.

    Although stem cell procedures haven't quite gone mainstream in the NFL, multiple former running backs have undergone the treatment, including Jamaal Charles and Knowshon Moreno. Both Charles and Moreno had the procedure done after tearing an ACL earlier in their football career. Gurley tore his ACL during his junior year at the University of Georgia in 2014.

    Rams coach Sean McVay was asked about the possibility of a stem cell procedure during a one-on-one interview with at the NFL combine on Thursday and denied it, but he did say that the team is looking at "new methods" to help Gurley with his ailing knee.

    "As far as the stem cells, that's not something that's been communicated to me, but there is a program," McVay said. "We've got these doctors and there's always new methods of staying as up-to-date as you can, and number one, the player has to feel good about it. Todd does such a good job of doing his own research and knowing what are the things [he] can do."

    McVay also added that the team is open to using new advancements in medicine as long as Gurley is comfortable with it.

    "I think every year provides a new opportunity based on the research and some of the medical advances to attack it in the right way," McVay said. "As long as Todd is feeling good about that, that's what we'll do."

    One option that's not on the table right now is surgery. McVay told a horde of media members at the combine that surgery definitely won't be happening this offseason.

    Gurley's troublesome left knee became such an issue this year that it caused him to miss the final two games of the regular season. At the time, the Rams attributed Gurley's absence to soreness and inflammation. According to McVay, the team is hoping that they can get Gurley back at full strength this offseason.

    "We're going to implement a plan to have him attack it to get that knee back to feeling full strength, feeling good based on just the amount of work that he's gotten," McVay said. "That would be no different whether he missed any games or not, though."

    The 33-year-old Rams coach also said that the team has been closely watching Gurley's knee since the day he was drafted in 2015.

    "We've always had the approach with him even going back to when we drafted him before I was here, and that's really where we're at," McVay said. "There's been a plan in place specific to monitoring that knee every single offseason for him and having a plan to make sure that we're putting him in a position to sustain that workload. This season will be no different."

    A team source also said that the team is concerned about the amount of hits that Gurley is taking. The Rams running back has carried the ball 1,042 times since his rookie year. To put that in perspective, no other running back in the NFL has even carried the ball 950 times over that time span. Gurley leads the NFL in carries over the past four seasons even though he's missed six regular-season games in that time span.

  • #2
    McVay not saying Gurley is healthy and doesn't need any knee therapy speaks volumes. It's pretty clear Gurley has injury issues, possibly serious issues.


    • #3
      I really really hope he can play at the same level for seasons to come. But the inescapable reality is that a healthy, elite RB is a perishable asset. The Rams clearly need to get ready to minimize or move on from reliance on a Gurley-led running game and general offense.


      • #4
        According to McVay, the team is hoping that they can get Gurley back at full strength this offseason.

        Such a challenge, a major, critical challenge. Not only to bring TG back at full strength 'this offseason', but to help our superstar's knee strength and reliability into the regular season and beyond.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Seacone View Post
          I really really hope he can play at the same level for seasons to come. But the inescapable reality is that a healthy, elite RB is a perishable asset. The Rams clearly need to get ready to minimize or move on from reliance on a Gurley-led running game and general offense.
          Totally agree. An overreliance on ANY one player is ill-advised, much less a running back who now at best has major question marks regarding his health and future productivity.


          • #6
            But TG is 100% healthy right? It was just "coaching" decisions and whatnot that put him on the sidelines for much of the last two games. How's that Billy Squier song go again?


            • #7
              Apparently he has arthritis in his knee, and none of the reactions about it are good...
              Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


              • #8
                Originally posted by Varg6 View Post
                Apparently he has arthritis in his knee, and none of the reactions about it are good...
                Arthritis? That would be cruel.
                “Oh, 100 percent,” Donald said. “I feel like the words, ‘Thank you,’ ain’t enough. You’ve got to show it... Instead of saying thank you — show it.”


                • #9
                  The Athletic's Jeff Howe reports Todd Gurley has arthritis in his knee.
                  This explains what Gurley was dealing with throughout the playoffs. Gurley's knee wasn't 100 percent for most of 2018, but it was magnified after a setback against the Eagles in Week 15. Gurley is considering stem cell treatment this offseason to help with the arthritis. There are some career outlook concerns with Gurley's knee condition. The Rams are likely to scale back Gurley's workload in 2019.

                  SOURCE: Jeff Howe on Twitter
                  Mar 2, 2019, 8:39 AM
                  Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


                  • #10
                    Well. He is only 24, Most RB's are done by 30. He may be done sooner then that. CJ even better signing now. Of course Gurley is one of the top 3 in the league but he needs to be used less with other options viable available


                    • #11
                      Obviously too early to be writing Gurley off, but if his knee remains a problem and his career is cut short, it'll absolutely be a tragedy. Not just because he's a Ram, but because he's a generational talent, the ultimate team player, and arguably the most thrilling player to watch in the NFL. He just happens to be a great individual as well. I'd hate to see him lose his career.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Macrammer View Post

                        ... CJ even better signing now. Of course Gurley is one of the top 3 in the league but he needs to be used less with other [viable] options available.

                        Totally agree. The Rams will need to seriously and effectively revamp the 2019 RB stable but for now, would it be conceivable to see Gurley as CJ's backup? CJ Anderson getting most of the snaps in most of the games.

                        Click image for larger version  Name:	GettyImages-1084009982-1.jpg?w=525.jpg Views:	1 Size:	66.4 KB ID:	827527


                        • #13
                          I will keep my fingers crossed that the stem cell treatment will work, not simply, as Mike said so eloquently, because he's a Ram, but he's a good person who deserves the best life can offer. The fact that he's a generational talent makes it a shame that we could miss watching that on Sundays to come.

                          On the optional list let's not overlook John Kelly whom we drafted in 2018 and showed he can play in the NFL during the pre-season.

                          Go Rams!


                          • #14
                            Tre Mason is available.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KoaKoi View Post
                              Tre Mason is available.
                              What's sad about this joke is he actually isn't, as I think he tore his ACL in October.


                              Related Topics


                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Todd Gurley Absent As Rams Begin Voluntary OTA Workouts
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Todd Gurley absent as Rams begin voluntary OTA workouts

                                Key defensive veterans Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Dante Fowler also skip drills

                                By RYAN KARTJE | | Orange County Register
                                PUBLISHED: May 20, 2019 at 7:04 pm | UPDATED: May 20, 2019 at 7:04 pm

                                THOUSAND OAKS – The Rams contend to have a “really specific” plan for Todd Gurley this offseason. But starting offseason training activities with the team was apparently not a part of it.

                                The former NFL Offensive Player of the Year was not the only player absent from the Rams’ first OTA practice on Monday. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, as well as edge rusher Dante Fowler, were also not in attendance, all of whom, according to Rams coach Sean McVay, communicated ahead of time that they would be absent.

                                OTA’s are entirely voluntary, and it’s not without precedent that players secure in their star status skip out. But the absence of Gurley, who signed the largest guaranteed contract for a running back in NFL history last summer, is bound to raise a few eyebrows anyway, given the uncertain status of his knee at the end of last season.

                                The last we saw of the Rams star running back, he ran for just 35 yards on 10 carries in a Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. Ever since, reports doubting Gurley’s long-term health have swirled endlessly, even as he and the Rams have shrugged them off.

                                McVay said that Rams staff members sat down with Gurley to work out a plan for his offseason. That plan, like the team’s agreement with star tackle Aaron Donald, includes allowances for Gurley to use trainers unaffiliated with the Rams.

                                “As long as we’re on the same page, we feel good about that,” McVay said. “And most importantly, Todd feels good. He’s got a lot of experience. He’s staying up to date with everything that’s going on. But that’s where we’re at with him right now.”

                                Gurley said last month that his knee felt “pretty good.” Surgery, he said, had never been seriously considered. Over the course of the offseason, Gurley has certainly seemed fine as he traveled the world, from New York and Miami to Milan and Barcelona, “doing everything I always wanted to do,” he said.

                                But until the two-time All-Pro running back is back on the field, questions about his health will continue to linger. That return could take place some time over the team’s nine remaining OTA sessions, which are spread out over the next three weeks. Or we may not see Gurley until training camp begins at the end of July.

                                The absence of a star player from offseason workouts should be familiar territory for the Rams, who spent the last two years of OTA’s fielding questions about Aaron Donald and his contract. But on Monday, while Gurley stayed away, Donald was on the field in May for the first time since McVay took over as coach.

                                “It’s nice having him around this time of year,” McVay said. “I didn’t...
                                -05-23-2019, 09:34 AM
                              • Nick
                                McVay: Todd Gurley will be 'focal point of our offense'
                                by Nick
                                McVay: Todd Gurley will be 'focal point of our offense'
                                By Kevin Patra
                                Around the NFL Writer
                                Published: April 12, 2019 at 02:28 p.m.

                                Questions about Todd Gurley's knee issue that stretched into the playoffs have lingered all offseason, leaving us to ponder how the Los Angeles Rams would utilize the running back moving forward.

                                Despite whispers that the Rams might try to curtail Gurley's workload, coach Sean McVay said Friday on The Rich Eisen Show that the All-Pro running back will continue to be the center of the offense.

                                "You can expect Todd to be a focal point of our offense going forward," McVay told Eisen. "He's in a good place, he's feeling good and will continue to be a central piece of our offense and I don't see that changing."

                                McVay's response appears to answer the query Les Snead posited during the NFL Scouting Combine in February when the GM suggested Gurley's workload might need to be monitored moving forward.

                                It's no surprise McVay would insist Gurley remain the centerpiece of the offense. As a dynamic runner, threat out of the backfield as a pass-catcher and goal line hammer, Gurley is a preeminent running back threat when healthy.

                                Still, managing his workload more delicately in 2019 seems like a prudent move. Through his first four seasons, Gurley has handled 1,042 carries in the regular season alone. Compare that to two other prominent running backs from his draft class: Melvin Gordon (897) and David Johnson (687). Gurley's 1,229 touches over 58 career regular-season games give him an average of 21.2 touches per tilt.

                                McVay wouldn't have to relegate Gurley to a complementary weapon in the offense to monitor his workload. Given the knee issue appears like it's one that could pop up at any moment, shaving a few reps and allowing the running back a few more respites each game could work just as well.

                                After the Rams handed Gurley the largest contract in the NFL for a running back, there was never a real question about whether he would remain the focal point of an offense that makes headlines for its passing attack, but at its core is a run-focused, play-action assault.

                                The biggest question is how Gurley's leg will hold up over the course of 16 games. It's one we might not have a hard answer to until January.
                                -04-12-2019, 06:01 PM
                              • Nick
                                Rams RB Todd Gurley won't be 'bell cow' going forward     
                                by Nick
                                Rams RB Todd Gurley won't be 'bell cow' going forward
                                By Jeremy Bergman
                                Around The NFL Writer
                                Published: June 3, 2019 at 07:59 p.m. Updated: June 3, 2019 at 08:48 p.m.

                                Four months after Super Bowl LIII, questions still abound about the health of Todd Gurley's fickle left knee.

                                The Los Angeles Rams running back has been held out of on-field team practices during offseason workouts, instead taking part in a "planned training program." Gurley is also reportedly trying to shed half a dozen pounds down to 218 in an attempt to lighten the load on a knee that held him back down the stretch of last season.

                                Rams coach Sean McVay addressed Monday reports of Gurley's desire to play at a lower weight, expressing optimism about the running back's health heading into 2019.

                                "I want him to feel most comfortable. That's the most important thing, what he feels he can most function at, being the all-purpose back he's been and that's where we're at," McVay told reporters. "So he says, 'I'd rather play five, 10 pounds lighter,' and he's going to feel better about that, then that's exactly what we'll do. He's earned the right to be able to tell us how he's feeling with the give and take. As long as he's got a why, which I know he does, we're always receptive to those things."

                                Gurley's return to "all-purpose" form might not be so simple, though. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that it is understood in Los Angeles that Gurley will no longer be the bell-cow back that he was over the first four seasons of his career, something that was hinted at during Super Bowl Weekend and will continue this year.

                                "The days of Todd Gurley just being the straight-up, every-down bell cow are probably over, just based on his knee, his age, the position, the amount of carries he's had," Rapoport said on Monday's edition on NFL Total Access. "It's probably not going to be like that, which by the way is maybe why the Rams drafted a running back in the third round, someone they really like a lot. This is a team that is clearly ready to spread the ball around.

                                "Of course, Gurley's knee, the wear and tear on that knee, the surgically repaired knee, is something that everyone knows has been concerning to the team for some time. All they really want is for Gurley to come back when the season begins when it's really time to go to be 100 percent. What they don't want is to have all those questions they had leading up the Super Bowl repeat before Week 1."

                                Rapoport reported on the day of Super Bowl LIII that Gurley, who had seen a dip in production and snap count since suffering the knee injury in Week 15 but was not mentioned on the injury report, would not be the work horse against the New England Patriots, despite McVay telling reporters Gurley would "be a big part of this game." The running...
                                -06-04-2019, 07:43 AM
                              • Nick
                                ESPN: Rams have Gurley on specialized offseason plan
                                by Nick
                                Rams have Gurley on specialized offseason plan
                                7:59 PM ET
                                Lindsey Thiry

                                THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Rams have a specific, individualized offseason plan for Todd Gurley. For now, it doesn't include their star running back participating in team drills at organized team activities.

                                "That was what we felt like was best for Todd when Todd and I sat down," Rams coach Sean McVay said Tuesday. "And it's been really good so far and we feel good about that."

                                The Rams held their fourth workout of OTAs on Tuesday. Gurley was not present for any portion of the session, which was open to reporters, and he also was absent from last Monday's open session.

                                However, McVay said Tuesday that Gurley has been working with outside trainer Travelle Gaines and that he has maintained a regular presence at the practice facility.

                                "He's also been here consistently, pretty much every single day of the week," McVay said. "He's been an active participant following the program that we've implemented with him and we're very pleased with where Todd is at right now."

                                Nevertheless, Gurley's new program, a departure from his past offseason regimen, adds to the speculation about the long-term health of his left knee, which was surgically repaired in 2014, and kept him sidelined during Weeks 16 and 17 last season.

                                In the playoffs, Gurley played a pivotal role in a divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys, as he rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown, but he appeared a shadow of his former self in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIII.

                                When Gurley reported to the offseason voluntary workout program last month, he said that his knee was "feeling pretty good" and that he was "taking it day by day." But he did not provide any specific details regarding the extent of his knee issue, and avoided the question when asked if he could confirm reports of arthritis or a degenerative condition.

                                McVay said Tuesday that Gurley's offseason program accounts for the length of the Rams' season, as they advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001, and is structured to have Gurley ready for the start of training camp and Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers.
                                -05-29-2019, 06:03 AM
                              • Nick
                                Was Rams coach Sean McVay out of touch with use of Todd Gurley?
                                by Nick
                                Was Rams coach Sean McVay out of touch with use of Todd Gurley?
                                By RICH HAMMOND | | Orange County Register
                                PUBLISHED: December 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm | UPDATED: December 11, 2017 at 7:37 pm

                                THOUSAND OAKS — For all the good that Coach Sean McVay has brought to the Rams this year — an enormous amount — a persistent question remains. What’s going on with Todd Gurley’s usage?

                                The Rams are 7-0 when Gurley touches the ball at least 20 times in a game, either on handoffs or receptions, and they’re 2-4 when he doesn’t reach that mark. Gurley had 16 touches for 135 yards on Sunday in the Rams’ loss to Philadelphia, which tied his lowest touch total of the season.

                                That requires some context. The Rams ran only 45 offensive plays against the Eagles, so Gurley’s touches accounted for 35.6 percent of their offense, which is on par with his usage all season.
                                Still, McVay’s usage of Gurley didn’t pass the eye test. Philadelphia entered the game with a superb run defense that had averaged only 3.5 yards allowed per attempt, but Gurley ran for 30 yards on the Rams’ second play and scored a touchdown on the next play. Gurley averaged 7.4 yards per rush attempt.

                                Gurley and the Rams’ offensive line clearly could move the ball against the Eagles, but Gurley had only 13 carries (for 96 yards), while quarterback Jared Goff attempted 26 passes (and completed 16).

                                “Any time we’re running the football like that, I’ve got to do a better job of making sure that he gets enough touches to get into the flow, especially when we’re getting some good movement,” McVay said during his Monday news conference at Cal Lutheran.

                                “It is a delicate balance. At the end of the day, however you want to cut it, I’ve got to get him going and give him more opportunities, with the way he was running, and have a better feel for the flow of the game. That was something I didn’t think I did very well.”

                                McVay also pointed out, correctly, quite fairly, that the low number of plays took the Rams out of sync, and credited the Eagles defense for doing a good job against the Rams’ first-down plays, particularly some of the play-action stuff that had been successful all season.

                                McVay also talked about the need for run-pass balance, and at times, McVay seemed to stray too far.

                                The Rams held a 35-34 lead with less than 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter when, on a first-and-10 play, McVay called a play-action pass. Eagles defensive end Chris Long sprinted around Rams tackle Darrell Williams, who had entered the game two plays earlier, and forced a Goff strip-sack fumble.

                                Philadelphia went on to kick a go-ahead field goal, and after the game, McVay was forthright in saying that he should have called a better play. Perhaps the Rams should have kept the ball on the ground?

                                It’s not as though the Rams have been ignoring Gurley. They’ve...
                                -12-11-2017, 08:09 PM