LA Rams’ Todd Gurley not saying much about health of knee
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Todd Gurley still isn’t shedding much light on the injured knee that limited him down the stretch with the Los Angeles Rams.
Gurley was in camp Monday for the opening of the Rams’ offseason program and their first team activities since their Super Bowl loss to New England.
Gurley said he is “feeling good” after 2 1/2 months of rest for his left knee. When pressed for specifics about the injury that appeared to limit one of the NFL’s biggest offensive stars in the most important games of his career, Gurley retreated to generalities.
“All I have to worry about is how I’m feeling right now,” Gurley said. “I don’t know how I’m going to be feeling six months from now. Just keep working hard, doing what I’ve been doing these past couple of years. Really just taking it day by day and trying to make sure I feel the best once the season comes.”
Yet many Rams fans still have questions about Gurley’s health, which caused him to miss Los Angeles’ final two regular season games and apparently shrank his effectiveness throughout the last two months of the Rams’ first Super Bowl season in 17 years.
The 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year managed fewer than 50 yards rushing in four of his final five games, struggling to make an impact except in the Rams’ playoff win over Dallas.
Gurley rushed for just 45 combined yards and caught two passes in the NFC championship game and the Super Bowl. After the final game in Atlanta, Gurley insisted he was not particularly injured — just weary.
“Injuries are going to come,” Gurley said Monday. “That’s what this sport is, 100%. Everyone is going to get hurt, no ifs, ands or buts about it. It’s just how you come back from it. It’s not going to be the first time I’ve been hurt. It’s not going to be the last time I’ve been hurt.”
Late-season signee C.J. Anderson did much of the ball-carrying work for the Rams down the stretch, but he parlayed that success into a new contract with Detroit. The Rams expect to return in the fall with Gurley backed up by Malcolm Brown, who signed an offer sheet with the Lions before the Rams matched it.
Gurley and Brown have been teammates throughout their four-year NFL careers. Coach Sean McVay’s staff has long touted Brown as a potential star, but the Rams don’t currently expect Brown to play as much as Anderson did last season.
“Todd has shown that he is capable of carrying the workload,” McVay said. “We have a lot of confidence in Malcolm, (but) for us, you want to be smart about that. Todd is a guy that’s been a focal point of this offense. He’s going to continue to be. … Unless I’m told otherwise, he’s a pretty versatile back and we’re going to continue to utilize all of his skillsets.”
Gurley traveled around the U.S. and went to Europe during his two months off, half-joking that he decided to see the world because “I finally got the money I deserved.” Gurley got $45 million guaranteed in his new contract last July, the biggest in NFL history by average annual value for a running back.
He probably won’t take any significant wear and tear until September: McVay essentially confirmed he plans to hold out many of his key players for the entire preseason, just as he did last summer.
NOTES: Cornerback Marcus Peters, edge rusher Dante Fowler, linebacker Cory Littleton and cornerback Troy Hill were among the veterans who missed the first day of the voluntary offseason program, according to McVay. Littleton and Hill are still unsigned restricted free agents. … The Rams re-signed six free agents with varying limitations on their mobility: safety Blake Countess, defensive end Morgan Fox, cornerback Dominique Hatfield, receiver KhaDarel Hodge, kick returner JoJo Natson and defensive back Kevin Peterson. … McVay said he has spoken to Chargers coach Anthony Lynn about teaming up for joint training camp practices. LA’s teams hold camp just a few miles apart in Orange County.