There is no doubt that Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley is one of the best in the NFL, although there recently has been some doubt about the health of his left knee.
Gurley tore his ACL while he was playing in college at Georgia, and then he missed a few games last season due to a knee issue. He has also been limited during offseason workouts to rest his knee, although the team has said on multiple occasions that he is not injured.
However, Gurley’s trainer Travelle Gaines recently confirmed that the star running back has been dealing with arthritis in his knee.
Gaines is maintaining that this type of arthritis is normal for someone who has underwent surgery and remains optimistic about his upcoming season, via Dave Richard of CBS Sports:
“Everybody knew when Todd came out of Georgia that there would be some kind of arthritic component to his knee, which is part of every surgery whether it’s a shoulder, a knee, an ankle,” Gaines said late last week. “He’s now at the year-five mark, all we’re doing is managing that. If we can pound him less in the offseason while keeping his weight down, working on his strength, working on his agility in short areas, that’s going to give him a better chance to be healthy Weeks 14 through 17 when they really count.”
As previously mentioned, Gurley has not been participating in off-season workouts, although Gaines thinks this is normal. Limiting the strain on his body during the offseason should hopefully give Gurley more life towards the end of the season.
Although running back C.J. Anderson has left to the Detroit Lions, Gurley’s load should still be lightened by backup Malcolm Brown and rookie Darrell Henderson, who the Rams drafted in the third round after he totaled 22 touchdowns and 1,909 yards in his final season at Memphis.
Brown has been with the Rams since the 2015 NFL season. In that time he has largely served as Gurley’s backup, averaging 3.2 carries per game in his 40 games with the team.
Although the Rams have players to support Gurley, Gaines does not expect his workload throughout the regular season to be any different than it has in seasons past:
“It’s never been told to me that there’s a plan to decrease his workload come Week 1,” Gaines said. “At the end of the day, you need solid running backs, and they grabbed a home-run running back in the third round. … If you watched the games last year, Todd typically sat out two to three series last year. I don’t see anything changing with that, so you need a back who can catch, and I believe Darrell averaged around 9.0 yards per carry, a home-run type guy.”
While it is discouraging to hear that after all this time Gurley does in fact have arthritis in his knee, the Rams and Gaines are doing all they can to help him manage the load. In addition to taking it easy this offseason, Gaines and Gurley have been focused on cutting his body fat down. Gurley is expected to move from 10 percent body fat to seven percent.
Whatever 2019 has in store for the Rams, Gurley will be involved. After being the cornerstone piece for the last few years, it seems that Gurley’s role on the Rams will not be changing any time soon.