The Los Angeles Rams may have drafted running back John Kelly, however, there is no denying that running back Todd Gurley is still the only workhorse in town.
Gurley enjoyed his heaviest workload yet last season. Head coach Sean McVay implied that will not change in the 2018 NFL season, via the team’s official website:
“What Todd did was show why he’s a complete back, and to take him off the field, he better be pretty tired. You want to be smart about that, but there’s a reason why he was able to have all that success,” McVay said. “And you can’t say enough about the consistency at which Malcolm Brown performed when he got his opportunities. So you’ve got two guys in that room that have performed.”
McVay’s comments should hardly come as any surprise. Gurley took 279 carries for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also managed to haul in 64 catches for 788 yards and six touchdowns en route to Offensive Player of the Year honors. More importantly, he erased any doubt that had surrounded him after a tumultuous 2016 campaign.
Gurley’s versatile skill set out of the backfield along with his size and strength make him a bonafide three-down back and arguably the best in the NFL at his position. That said, there is no reason for him to come out barring fatigue or injury. It goes without saying that the Rams’ offense is much more explosive when he is on the field.
Regardless, an occasional breather will do wonders for Gurley in dealing with the rigors of a full season. Los Angeles has high expectations for the upcoming season. Needless to say, having a healthy Gurley will be a necessity in the playoffs. This means Kelly and running back Malcolm Brown will need to be able to hold their own when the All-Pro checks out for a couple of plays.