Less than two years after giving Todd Gurley $45 million guaranteed to be their clear-cut workhorse at running back, the Los Angeles Rams have insisted they want nothing other than to scrap the idea of having a lead runner for 2020. Addressing reporters Monday, the same day Gurley officially found a new home with the Atlanta Falcons, general manager Les Snead said the Rams plan to use "more than one workhorse" moving forward.
"What we do want to be," Snead said, per Greg Beacham of the Associated Press, "is a team that utilizes more than one workhorse moving the ball, with different skill sets."
That, of course, is not a novel concept in the NFL. In fact, it's rarer these days to find a club that does feature one RB as the near-sole ball-carrier for an offense. But it's an obvious and stark contrast to what the Rams thought they would be doing when they extended Gurley, the former Offensive Player of the Year, on a four-year, $60 million deal that Los Angeles terminated early this offseason.
Drafted 10th overall by the team in 2015, Gurley couldn't have looked more capable of serving a full-time role in the Rams' backfield to start his career, earning three Pro Bowl nods in his first four seasons while thrice eclipsing 1,100 yards rushing and scoring 21 total touchdowns during the Rams' 2018 Super Bowl run. Persistent knee issues limited the All-Pro down the stretch of that NFC title run, however, and things got even worse in 2019, when coach Sean McVay often danced around questions of Gurley's durability while lessening the back's workload in favor of carries for reserves Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson.
Entering 2020, Brown and Henderson figure to compete for playing time in place of Gurley. But another RB, whether via the draft or free agency, could still be on the radar for Los Angeles, which saw quarterback Jared Goff struggle mightily without both consistent blocking and run support in 2019.