Todd Gurley tore his ACL prior to entering the draft in the 2015 NFL Draft. Even then, rumors spread concerning his knee and how well he’ll do in the big leagues. The Rams selected the former UGA running back at No. 10 overall.
Fast forward five years later, and the two-time All-Pro, three-time Pro Bowler has accumulated 5,404 rushing yards and 58 touchdowns.
Gurley developed arthritis in his knee ahead of the 2019 season and Gurley’s production decreased that season. However, Rams’ head coach Sean McVay managed his workload after the arthritis report, thus Gurley wasn’t playing as many snaps.
The Rams released Gurley in March reportedly due to his health concerns and just two years after making him the highest-paid running back in NFL history on a four-year, $60 million contract extension.
‘Prove It’ Season
The Falcons didn’t hesitate to sign Gurley the day after his release to a one-year $5.5 million deal to bring the Georgia running back home.
Gurley is excited and ready to prove himself this season.
“Each year you’ve got to prove yourself,” Gurley said. “Nobody cares about what you’re doing in this league, you’ve got to prove yourself each week, you’ve got to prove yourself each year.”
Most importantly, he is looking healthy after videos of his leg workouts circulated on the internet on Wednesday.
Fans tweeted out saying they wanted to see the left knee at work, so the Falcons responded with Gurley showing his left knee strength.
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Falcons OC Questioned Gurley’s Health
Even Dirk Koetter was wondering what Gurley’s knee status was just a few days ago.
“The main question is, that no one seems to know, is what is his health status? What’s his workload?” Koetter said on an Atlanta media conference call.
While Koetter might have been questioning Gurley’s health, he made it clear that he was a great addition to the roster.
“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 Will Be Placed On Touch Count
A pro football doctor for 17 years, Dr. David Chao says that Gurley can still be a productive player if his workload is properly managed.
The Falcons will continue to monitor Gurley closely and he will be on a touch count. The number is unclear, but it could be anywhere between 15-20 touches.
“The arthritis in his knee will not go away but can be managed,” Chao wrote for The San Diego Union-Tribune after Gurley was released by the Rams. “Gurley still has plenty of football left in him, but his carriers/touches will need to be limited as well as his practice time. Going forward, Gurley can still add value as a part-time running back, but teams need to adjust expectations given the health of his left knee.”
Of course, the touch count will go away if Gurley exceeds his expectations. Which, by the looks of those videos, he is headed in the right direction.