Coach Sean McVay said he isn't aware of Gurley needing any medical procedures during the offseason, Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. McVay acknowledged he hasn't spoken with the team's training staff since Gurley had his season-end physical exam Tuesday. It's possible that meeting brings something to light, but for now McVay is sticking with the party line that he simply thought a mixture of Gurley and C.J. Anderson gave the Rams their best to chance to win during the playoffs. Gurley also maintains he made a full recovery from his late-season knee injury prior to the playoffs. Running backs coach Skip Peete may have provided a better glimpse into the team's thinking a few days before the Super Bowl when he suggested that Gurley never returned to peak condition after sitting out Weeks 16 and 17. It's a reasonable explanation for getting Anderson involved, but it still doesn't explain the extent of that involvement. Gurley had just 16 touches between the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl, after averaging 22.5 per game during the regular season. He'll likely return to his workhorse role in 2019, though there may be some concerns about volume if the Rams re-sign Anderson.
Gurley carried 10 times for 35 yards and caught his only target for a one-yard loss during Sunday's 13-3 loss to the Patriots. Gurley out-touched C.J. Anderson in this one, but he did little with his opportunities en route to just 3.5 yards per carry. So ends what was a bizarre postseason for the star back, who excelled against the Cowboys before totaling just 14 carries for 45 yards over the final two games. Gurley enjoyed an otherworldly regular season in which he piled up 1,831 scrimmage yards and 21 touchdowns, making him an elite fantasy option heading into the 2019 campaign. However, given the way his postseason ended, he may carry some level of risk if Anderson stays in Los Angeles.
Gurley is expected to continue splitting carries with C.J. Anderson during the Super Bowl, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports. There's been some chatter about Gurley potentially returning to his workhorse role with two weeks to recover after the last game -- a 26-23 win over the Saints in which Anderson held a 37-32 advantage for snaps and a 16-4 edge for carries. The split should tilt back toward Gurley against the Patriots, but that doesn't mean he'll recoup the high-usage role he handled Weeks 1-15 of the regular season. Rams running backs coach Skip Peete recently revealed that the team talked to Gurley before the playoffs and told him he wouldn't be getting his accustomed workload. Peete also mentioned that Gurley did an excellent job in pass protection during the NFC Championship Game, though his strong work was overshadowed by a pair of first-quarter drops and a lack of touches thereafter. Both player and team maintain that Gurley is fully recovered from the knee injury which held him out for Weeks 16 and 17.
Coach Sean McVay said Tuesday that Gurley will be a big part of the Super Bowl, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports. Gurley blamed performance rather than health for his limited role in the NFC Championship Game, noting that he was "sorry as hell" early in the contest. Of course, fellow running back C.J. Anderson didn't exactly tear it up against a tough New Orleans front, picking up 44 yards on 16 carries to end a three-game streak with triple-digit yardage and at least 5.3 YPC. Gurley is a good bet to see an uptick from his five touches in the NFCCG, but that doesn't mean he'll push Anderson out of the picture. With everything on the line this week, the Rams probably won't give any reliable hints about the workload split in their backfield.
Gurley suggested health wasn't a factor in his limited role during Sunday's 26-23 win over the Rams, instead blaming his poor performance early in the game, ESPN.com's Lindsey Thiry reports. "I was sorry as hell today," Gurley said after the game. "I was sorry. So, C.J. did his thing and the whole team did its thing." Gurley lost four yards on his first carry and then dropped a pass into a defender's hands for an interception on the next snap. C.J. Anderson got most of the work from that point forward, ultimately finishing with a 37-32 snap advantage and a 16-4 edge for carries. Gurley did have a six-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter and a three-yard reception in the final minute of regulation, so it wasn't a case of being benched. Gurley's role will be one of the major storylines heading into the Super Bowl, with coach Sean McVay surely hoping his superstar running back can relocate his top form. While he may be free of pain and technically healthy, a late-season knee injury seems to have taken Gurley out of his comfort zone. Anderson did a great job filling in the previous three games, but he was limited to 2.8 yards per carry in the NFC Championship Game.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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