Well, it’s officially official. Todd Gurley is the Atlanta Falcons starting running back. I know what you’re thinking…we already had him signed weeks ago. Yes, the Falcons did a verbal agreement but now its pen and paper official.
The Falcons’ official Twitter account made the announcement Monday afternoon.
Although Gurley has finally come to terms with Atlanta, he still has a physical to pass, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no confirmation as to when his physical will take place.
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What Does an NFL Physical Consist Of?
All teams have their own doctors which have their own requirements and it’s not fun. But when is a doctor’s visit ever fun?
The process is a lengthy one and players are lucky to get out of there in three or four hours. It’s basically like what they did at the NFL combine.
Players will need to have x-rays done and MRI, ultrasound studies or other imaging done to help re-evaluate past injuries. They will also have to do a treadmill stress test, blood work, a urine drug screen, along with vision, hearing, and dental screenings.
Doctors will push and pull their joints. They will ask about family history and medical problems. And after reviewing a player’s bloodwork, they’ll ask them even more questions.
Any possible injury a player has ever had will be scrutinized to the smallest detail. They’ll figure out his stability after an ACL or shoulder surgery. At the end of it all, he’ll get a pass or fail grade. But it’s weird because he can go to another team and pass their physical even if he failed the one prior.
It’s like having every single doctor’s appointment scheduled in one day.
Impact on Atlanta?
Gurley coming home is exciting for the entire state of Georgia unless you’re a Tech fan of course. But the question now is “What impact will Gurley have on the Falcons?”
For starters, he’s already joining a firepower offense alongside quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley and new tight end target Hayden Hurst. These weapons could make Atlanta’s offense one of the most lethal in the NFC South.
But having Gurley move in on offense will give Ryan some options. Ryan can use Gurley as another passing target or take advantage of Gurley’s company in the backfield as a dominating rusher. Either way, the opposing defense will hurt.
In 2019, Atlanta averaged 85.1 rushing yards per game, making them the third-lowest rank in the league. The Falcons relied primarily on passing the ball since they couldn’t get the run game sown.
Gurley led the league in touchdowns in both 2017 and 2018. When his knee problems kicked in, he still had a combined 1,000 yards along with 14 touchdowns in 2019.
If Gurley can come to Atlanta and be the guy he was at the early stages of his career, even just 50% of the time, then the Falcons are in good shape.