Todd Gurley has been one of the best running backs in the NFL basically from the moment he first stepped on the field. Gurley, though, has also been struggling with knee issues going all the way back to his college days at Georgia, when he suffered a torn ACL.
The knee issues seemed to be at their worst last year, when Gurley sat out the final few games of the season and was only sparingly used during the Rams' playoff run, seemingly being usurped by C.J. Anderson, who just weeks earlier was a street free agent available for anyone in the league to sign. CBSSports.com reported earlier this year that the Rams would for Gurley if his knee regressed during the offseason, and days later, it was reported that Gurley in the knee.
Concern about Gurley's status popped up again last weekend when the Rams packaged two picks to Darrell Henderson with the No. 70 overall pick. After all, if they really had confidence in Gurley's knee, why would they be trading up in the draft for a player who would presumably be primarily operating as his backup? Perhaps they view him as a long-term replacement.and select former Memphis running back
That situation brings us back around to what Gurley said about his knee just before the draft, when he did not confirm or deny that he has arthritis in his knee when asked about its status. "All I need to worry about is how I'm feeling right now," Gurley said, per ESPN.com. "I don't know how I'm going to be feeling six months from now. So like I said, just kind of keep working hard, doing what I've been doing these past couple of years."
Again, that's not a confirmation that Gurley has a serious knee condition, but it's not exactly a denial, either. Obviously, if the knee is arthritic, that would be a disaster for the Rams, who have built much of their offensive system around his versatile skill set and signed him to a four-year, $57.5 million contract extension that does not have a realistic exit point until after the 2021 season, by which time they will presumably have had to give Jared Goff a sizable raise. This is obviously a situation worth monitoring not just this offseason, but over the next few years.