It’s no secret that Todd Gurley’s knee has been a bother since his college days.
Speaking recently to CBS Sports’ Dave Richard, Gurley’s personal trainer, Travelle Gaines, confirmed the Rams running back has been dealing with arthritic issues in his knee.
Rams coach Sean McVay had downplayed the injury and characterized it earlier this offseason as “wear and tear.”
“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. “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.”
Gaines, who noted that the Rams drafted Darrell Henderson, said that he hasn’t been told of a plan to decrease Gurley’s workload and expects him to be a full go when the regular season opens in September.
“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.”
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.
Gurley has also shed a few pounds on his specialized offseason plan, though Gaines believes playing at a smaller size will help him long-term.
“It was a collective decision for him to play a little lighter this year, not because of injuries, just because I just feel he’s one of the faster players in the league,” Gaines said. “He doesn’t have to play at 224 — 218 is only six pounds less, so I wanted to decrease his body fat a little bit and get him to the point where he’s a tad smaller so he can be a tad faster and a little bit bigger from a lean muscle mass standpoint. He’s going from basically 10 percent body fat to 7 percent body fat.”
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.