Todd Gurley passed his physical exam on Tuesday, finally putting a lot of questions regarding his health to rest.
Since 2016, the Atlanta Falcons haven’t had a running back crack 1,000 yards and Matt Ryan has been under a lot of pressure without any help in the backfield.
Gurley passing his physical and receiving positive feedback from coaches and working out with Matt Ryan says a lot more than you think.
What a Physical Exam in the NFL Consists of
All teams have their own doctors which have their own requirements and it’s not fun. But then again, 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. For Gurley, it was his knee, of course. They’ll figure out his stability after ACL or shoulder surgery. At the end of it all, he’ll get a pass or fail grade. But it’s weird because the player can go to another team and pass their physical even if he failed the one prior.
So you see, it’s not just some kind of tea party inf order to pass an NFL physical.
Top-Tier Offense Potential
An extremely healthy Gurley would, of course, be a different ball game for the Falcons’ offense.
Since 2016 and the last time the Falcons saw 1,000 rushing yard season, Gurley has recorded 3,413 rushing yards and 42 rushing touchdowns.
The Falcons have all of the pieces to be a top-tier offense this season, just like they have been in the past with Matt Ryan in charge. However, Gurley’s health will be what separates this team from good and great. And at this rate, it’s looking like it could be great.
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Falcons Offense Will Benefit Gurley
The Falcons didn’t have anyone reliable in the backfield last year but they will this year with Gurley.
Gurley, who is coming off of a less productive season in comparison to his previous years, is still ranked fifth in total offense among all 32 NFL teams. His average hangs at 379.7 yards (294.6 passing and 85.1 rushing) and 23.8 points per game.
The former UGA star is joining an offense with veterans Matt Ryan and Julio Jones who are not washed up, yet. Gurley is going to open doors for Ryan in the pass and run game, making their offense a lot more versatile than in recent years.
The Falcons’ offense has Ryan as their leader and Alex Mack on the line at the center is the glue. Kaleb McGary is returning for his second season after starting all 16 games as a rookie. This year should be a breakthrough as he’s returning with more experience.
We saw a taste of Chris Lindstrom before he broke his foot. He was nothing but a pleasurable sight to see and he’s healthy again. And Gurley will have a lead blocker in Keith Smith this season, something he didn’t have at the Rams, which will make him much more efficient.
The Falcons have a masterpiece in the palm of their hands if they can just figure out how to get it all to work together with Gurley as their magic (not primary) weapon.