This past week the Atlanta Falcons made an exciting move bringing former UGA legend Todd Gurley back to his home turf. Prior to the Falcons, Gurley was the Los Angeles Rams running back who drafted him at the No. 10 overall in 2015.
While many Georgia and Falcons fans are excited about the new addition, there are still concerns about Gurley’s health regarding arthritis in his knee. Since his surgery, his productivity has declined and the Falcons really need to step up their run game this season.
Despite his knee problem, Gurley brings positive energy to the locker room each game day according to Gurley’s former teammate, Andrew Whitworth.
Whitworth’s Take on Gurley
Whitworth, the Rams’ left tackle recently spoke to Adam Schein and Mad Dog Sports Radio on what the Falcons should expect from their new running back.
“The energy this guy brings in a locker room and really to his team and the way he loves to compete, it’s infectious man,” Whitworth told Schein. “On gamedays I used to always say, he’s one of those guys that you look over at his locker just to see and get your excitement up and how much passion he has for the game.”
He also chimed in on how Gurley doesn’t take life too seriously and is a jokester which explains him roasting the Rams not paying him the past few days.
“So, you know what, I think they should expect nothing less than that and just on a day-to-day basis – he’s a great human being. I mean, all this success he’s had and all of the things he’s done, I’ve never seen it change him one bit. He takes life real lightly, he likes to joke and have fun, and make a joke out of everything. You know what, he doesn’t take himself too serious for an elite player and I love that about him because you know what, he’s a human being first. That’s what’s really cool about Todd, and it’s something that’ll be infectious to other guys on that team as they have success.”
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Falcons Other Options at Running Back
While Gurley, a former first-rounder will add talent to the offense the Falcons will have to pay attention to his health.
Right now, Brian Hill and Ito Smith are the back-ups running back options the Falcons will look to when Gurley needs a rest.
Hill, 24, proved himself worthy after having a breakout performance against the Panthers in Week 16 of 2018 when he carried the ball eight times for 115 yards. During the 2019 season, with 109 carries for 517 yards and two touchdowns.
Before his season-ending injury, Smith played in seven games last season rushing 22 times for 106 yards, including one touchdown, and totaled 11 catches for 87 yards.
If or when Gurley needs to rest his knee, the Falcons will have two backups that will be ready to step up.