Rams' Todd Gurley won’t be every-down back because of knee, report says

Todd Gurley's knee injury was worse than Rams first thought, C.J. Anderson says

Todd Gurley has shed a few pounds on his specialized offseason plan.

While speaking to reporters Monday, Rams coach Sean McVay addressed the running back’s health as he continues to rehab his knee, discussing his weight loss and desire to play at a smaller size.

“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, via NFL Media. “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.”

Both Gurley and McVay insisted the rusher was healthy for the postseason despite missing the Rams’ final two regular season games with knee inflammation. However, Gurley didn’t have many touches in the NFC championship game and played a limited role in the Super Bowl, which caused many to speculate whether he had fully recovered from his injury.

The Athletic later reported in March that Gurley is dealing with arthritis in his knee, though McVay categorized the injury as “wear and tear” instead.

Given his recovery, Gurley’s return to “all-purpose” form might not be so simple.

“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,” NFL Insider Ian Rapoport said on Monday’s edition of 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.”

Gurley, 24, finished with 1,251 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns last season after becoming the highest-paid running back in the NFL in April 2018.