Falcons OC Questioning Todd Gurley’s Health and Workload

Todd Gurley

Getty Former running back Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams.

The Falcons added their new starting running back and three-time Pro Bowler Todd Gurley to the roster back in March. However, there have been lingering questions regarding Gurley’s knee problems.

On Thursday, Falcons’ offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said he doesn’t know the status of Gurley’s health.

“The main question is, that no one seems to know, is what is his health status? What’s his workload?” Koetter said on a conference call. “He averaged about 17 touches a game last year, which is a little bit lower than he had been when he was All-Pro. We’re just gonna have to find that out once we get here and get him working, get him up and running.”

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Koetter on What Gurley Brings to the Table

Gurley is joining a loaded offense alongside quarterback Matt Ryan, wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, and new tight end target Hayden Hurst which could make Atlanta’s offense one of the most feared in the NFC South. Aside from the uncertainty of his knee, Koetter touched on what he’ll be bringing to the team.

“First off, Todd has had an unbelievable career. He’s a heck of a player. I think it’s also really fortunate for us that he’s coming from a real similar offense system, terminology wise. The run game is very similar conceptionally to what they were doing in LA.

“He can do everything. He’s an excellent runner. He’s good in the pass game and he can protect.”

Gurley moving in on the 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 have to stay or their toes.

“I know from talking to Todd that he’s fired up to be coming back to Georgia,” Koetter said.

Falcons GM Confident in Gurley’s Health

Gurley still has yet to pass his physical which has been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak. Falcons general manager, Thomas Dimitroff said in a conference last month that he is confident Gurley will pass the exam.

“On the contract as far as the confidence level in passing the physical, I feel good about that,” Dimitroff said. “Of course, we have to be particular about it. We look at it very closely, and I feel good about that.

“We have language in our contracts that are going to protect us and the player. If the player comes in and has an issue that he might not pass a physical, then that’s something that we’ll address then. We’re not looking at it that way [of Gurley possibly failing the physical]. In our mind, we’re thinking about Todd Gurley coming in … he really takes care of his body well and he’ll continue to work on it.”

Saving Gurley’s Knee

Dimitroff also said during the conference in April that the Falcons won’t just rely on Gurley to make the plays. He’s confident in his backups and other guys on offense to take control.

“I think Todd is explosive; I think Todd can still tote the rock very, very well and he’s going to be a big-time playmaker,” Dimitroff said. “I think we have a group of running backs that can contribute. I’m a big believer that it’s not just about one person running all the runs, of course. We’re a big mix-up team. We think that’s a very important part of making sure that we rotate our guys through there.”

Falcons have a quality running back depth of Brian Hill, Ito Smith, Qadree Ollison, and Craig Reynolds

Also, Gurley seems to be thriving in quarantine while working out twice a day, hiking, and playing some basketball. That should answer Koetter’s and everyone else’s uncertainty right there.

READ NEXT: Falcons RB Todd Gurley Chimes In on Trolling of Rams’ New Uniforms

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