The Los Angeles Rams have used some questionable tactics with the usage of All-Pro running back Todd Gurley's carries all season long, a common occurrence since a mysterious knee injury forced Gurley to miss two games at the end of the 2018 regular season and limited him to 10 carries in a Super Bowl 53 loss to the New England Patriots.
Gurley has shot down all reports about the long-term problems with his knee, but has yet to receive 20 touches in a game this season. Gurley finally showcased his frustration after Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a contest which he didn't receive a single carry in the fourth quarter. Gurley finished with 12 carries for 73 yards, an average of 6.08 yards per carry.
"Um, not really. I'm used to it," Gurley said regarding his fourth quarter usage, via Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic.
The Rams were trailing 14-10 entering the fourth quarter, a game which remained a one-score affair throughout the final 15 minutes. Gurley wasn't even a factor in the final quarter as the Rams ran three running plays to 16 pass plays, all running plays were carries by No. 2 running back Malcolm Brown.
Rams head coach Sean McVay did give a "ho-hum" answer to Gurley, two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler, not touching the ball once in the fourth quarter. Same story, different day.
"That was kind of just the rotation," McVay said after the game, via The Rams Wire of USA Today. "Sometimes, it's where we're getting on – because I'm on both sides of the headset and there's a lot of trust for our coaches to really be able to say, 'Who's in' and I'll kind of click back on and we know what we're going on.
"I thought Todd really had some tough, hard-earned runs. We got some drives going, but then at the end of the day, we ended up being in some two-minute situations at the end of the game and it was kind of hard to get back into any sort of flow running the football."
The lack of fourth-quarter usage isn't new for Gurley this season. Gurley has just 23 carries for 100 yards in the fourth quarter this year, not getting a carry in four of the Rams' nine games. He has just 10 carries for 18 yards in the fourth quarter over the last seven games.
The Rams have a problem they need to figure out with one of the highest-paid running backs in the game. Bottom line, Gurley just isn't getting the ball enough.