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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
    @johnbreech
    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 CBSSports.com 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.

  • KoaKoi
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick View Post

    What's sad about this joke is he actually isn't, as I think he tore his ACL in October.
    Ouch. Last I knew, he was playing in Canada (and doing a decent job) just this past year and has been hoping for another shot in the NFL. Too bad. I'm going to go put my "schmuck hat" on and go stand in the corner.

    Leave a comment:


  • RockinRam
    replied
    We should just play exclusively in a 5-WR set empty backfield. Use Gurley as the 5th WR. That way he gets less touches which means less strain on his knees, but keeps him on the field and he can put his passing game skillset to good use. And Goff can get back to his shotgun days.

    Leave a comment:


  • Seacone
    replied
    Whoops, and I forgot CJA on that "committee" too. So, it's not the end of the world. The offense must be re-designed for this "committee" approach, and I'm sure it will.

    Leave a comment:


  • Seacone
    replied
    Gurley, M. Brown, J. Kelly should be a respectable core of a RB "committee". After that, I would expect perhaps a mid to late round draft pick and a bunch of UDFA rookies to fight it out with J. Davis for another spot on the 53 and likely a couple of spots on the practice squad.

    There's no reason at all that the Rams offense cannot be very effective with more of a "committee" approach. Many successful offenses do it. In fact, I've thought we've been emphasizing a single star back/single back set approach too much, and that includes both McVay and Fisher. I'm optimistic McVay will make some tasty "lemonade" out of this situation. This cloud could have a substantial silver lining.

    Leave a comment:


  • bltkmt
    replied
    Originally posted by mde8352gorams View Post

    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!
    Agreed - John Kelly might be something special.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • KoaKoi
    replied
    Tre Mason is available.

    Leave a comment:


  • mde8352gorams
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • RealRam
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • r8rh8rmike
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • macrammer
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Varg6
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • isaacbruce4ever
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Varg6
    replied
    Apparently he has arthritis in his knee, and none of the reactions about it are good...

    Leave a comment:

Related Topics

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  • 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.
    1 week ago
  • 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 | rhammond@scng.com | 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
  • r8rh8rmike
    Gurley Day-to-Day With Inflamation in Knee
    by r8rh8rmike
    Rams RB Todd Gurley day-to-day with inflammation in knee

    9:24 PM PT
    Lindsey Thiry ESPN

    THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley is considered day-to-day because of inflammation in his left knee, coach Sean McVay said Monday.

    Gurley was sidelined for a series in the third quarter of Sunday night's 30-23 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

    After the game, Gurley said, "I returned, so I was fine." He rushed for 48 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and caught 10 passes for 76 yards.

    The Rams (11-3) have clinched the NFC West, but have two regular-season games remaining against the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.

    Despite a secured playoff berth, McVay said the final two games remained important and that he would prefer that Gurley play, if he was available.

    "If he's able to go, we want him to be able to go," McVay said. "But if it's something that whether you're playing for the playoffs or whether you're not, we're always going to be smart with a player like Todd."

    Gurley ranks second in the NFL with 89.4 rushing yards per game and has scored a league-high 21 touchdowns.

    Backup running back Justin Davis, who replaced Malcolm Brown after he was placed on injured reserve, also is day-to-day because of a shoulder injury....
    -12-18-2018, 10:37 AM
  • Nick
    Rams facing this painful question: Are Todd Gurley’s best years behind him?
    by Nick
    Rams facing this painful question: Are Todd Gurley’s best years behind him?
    By Vincent Bonsignore
    Mar 3, 2019

    INDIANAPOLIS​ — There is finally​ some​ clarity​ on the condition​ of Todd Gurley’s​ left knee,​ and the​ news over the​ weekend painted​​ a gloomy picture for the Rams’ star running back.

    On Friday, John Breech of CBS Sports reported that the Rams might consider stem cell treatment for Gurley’s knee, which was surgically repaired in 2014 after an ACL tear during his junior year at Georgia. On Saturday, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported that recent tests have revealed Gurley is dealing with arthritis in the knee.

    Both revelations cast doubt on the future of Gurley, who signed a four-year contract extension worth $60 million last summer that takes him through the 2023 season and guarantees him $45 million.

    With head coach Sean McVay talking about putting a plan in place to manage Gurley’s workload and general manager Les Snead pondering the potential need to add another running back alongside him, a dreaded question the Rams and their fans never wanted to contemplate is now absolutely valid.

    Are Gurley’s best years behind him?

    Since arthritis is a common occurrence in knees that have been surgically repaired, it is possible Gurley could be suffering from the condition. An orthopedic surgeon, speaking anonymously to The Athletic, said: “When you use the words arthritis in a knee that had an ACL back in college, that’s the connection. You’ve lost the alignment, and the tires are wearing out prematurely.”

    If that is indeed the case, it creates an ominous situation for Gurley based on multiple doctors consulted, including Dr. Jesse Morse of Florida Orthopedic Specialists.

    “Without personally examining him, my answers will obviously be very generalized, but unfortunately I believe Gurley has peaked and will not be able to repeat his record-breaking effectiveness,” Dr. Morse said. “He could possibly have one to two more years of elite top-five running back talent, but he will likely lose a step.”

    Publicly and privately, the Rams are not indicating anything more beyond the recent comments by McVay and Snead that Gurley was dealing with “wear and tear” issues late in the season.

    McVay said this week at the NFL Scouting Combine that surgery is not planned for Gurley. According to the doctors consulted by The Athletic, Gurley clearly has a condition that requires management rather than an injury that needs surgery.

    As far as stem cell treatment — which some doctors insist is a radical and not-yet-proven treatment that should be approached cautiously — Rams sources said no such course of action has been discussed within the organization.

    McVay and Snead have talked about putting a plan in place that will help keep Gurley...
    -03-04-2019, 06:17 AM
  • Curly Horns
    Sean McVay made right call riding hot hand in C.J. Anderson over Todd Gurley
    by Curly Horns
    By: Andrew Ortenberg | 12 hours ago Follow @AndrewOball


    Sean McVay rightfully gets a ton of praise for his innovative offense and play design, as well as his gutsy situational calls like going for it on certain fourth downs. But the best decision he made Saturday night to help lead the Rams to their first playoff win in 14 years was keeping running back C.J. Anderson in the game ahead of Todd Gurley.

    Even though Gurley was healthy and running well in his own right, Anderson deserved all of the touches and playing time that he got. It’s not like many other positions, where being forced to split time could affect a player’s mentality. And running back is the one position where the hot hand should always be played.

    Anderson finished with 123 yards and two touchdowns, and ended up with 23 carries to Gurley’s 16. While the thought of giving a free agent who just signed weeks ago nearly even playing time with a multiple-time All-Pro who was recently given the largest contract for a running back in NFL history might seem absurd, it’s the latest in a long line of bold decisions McVay has made that turned out right.

    Anderson is competent in pass protection and picked up chunk yardage the entire night. His longest run went for 15 yards, which tells you all you need to know about how consistent he was to still average over 5 yards a carry. McVay also left him in during some of the most crucial situations, showing the confidence he has in the 27-year-old back after just a few weeks.

    It was Anderson who got the carry on fourth-and-goal with seven minutes left in the game, and he ran through contact at the line of scrimmage for the score that proved to be the difference in the game. It was also Anderson taking the final three handoffs of the game, and picking up the first down with just over a minute left that sealed the victory.

    If someone had told you a month ago that Anderson would be carrying the ball 23 times in a playoff game, you’d have thought something must have gone disastrously wrong. You’d probably have thought Gurley suffered a season-ending injury.

    Instead, everything has gone perfectly for the Rams backfield, and McVay handled the situation just as he should’ve. If Anderson continues his fantastic play next week in the NFC championship game, he should receive plenty of run in that one as well.
    -01-13-2019, 09:53 AM
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