“Physicals aren’t about saying he’s absolutely healthy,” explained Carroll on 92.9 The Game. “It’s kinda like buying a used car. Doesn’t mean there’s not problems, doesn’t mean there’s not wear and tear, it just means you accept those risks. There’s nothing they saw that goes above and beyond what they expected.”
Carrol went on to explain how the Los Angeles Rams have some of the best medical staff in the league but they couldn’t figure out how to keep him healthy after games when his knee would swell. Now, it’s up to the Falcons to figure it out.
A Problematic Knee
According to Carrol, an arthritic knee will continue to stay problematic. He will still be able to run and push it hard but it’s afterward that’s the problem.
The Falcons will have to find the answers to certain questions.
“What he has trouble doing is not swelling up afterward. Can you get him back quickly enough to play week after week? How much is too much for him?”
Or just look at is this one big simple, yet complex question, “How much juice can you squeeze out of him without setting him back and making it impossible to play the following week?”
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Gurley’s Workload Will Be Managed
The Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter who was questioning Gurley’s health just two weeks ago already has a plan to keep Gurley’s knee healthy.
Koetter said the Falcons will monitor Gurley’s knee throughout camp and the upcoming season by putting him on a touch count.
While the number is still unclear, it could be between 15-20 touches a game based off of Gurley’s 2019 usage with the Rams. Gurley will also sit out in practices as he needed.
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 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, if he performs above expectations and feels 100%, then he will be used a lot more.
Matt Ryan Gushes Over Gurley After Workouts
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan flew out to California last week to get some work in with his new running back and he really liked what he saw.
“I’ve gotten to work with Todd and he’s awesome,” Ryan told ESPN. “Really, really good guy. A hard worker. He’s super-smart. The stuff I was telling him one day, the next day he had it done. I was really impressed with his ability to retain information. You don’t have to tell him twice. He’s on it.”
Gurley moving in on already loaded offense with Julio Jones and Calvin Riley will give Ryan some options, something they didn’t have last season. Ryan can use Gurley as another passing target or take advantage of Gurley’s company in the backfield as a dominating rusher.