In the last week, Los Angeles Rams legend Eric Dickerson and Bleacher Report were two voices that believed in a reunion between Todd Gurley and the franchise should take place following Cam Akers‘ Achilles injury.
Sean McVay, however, not only told ESPN 710 AM that the Rams aren’t planning to dive into free agency to compensate for Akers’ loss, but the Rams head coach answered the question regarding the hot possibility of Gurley’s return to the team on Monday:
“I don’t think that’s something we’re exploring right now, just the veteran route. Todd’s obviously been a huge part of a lot of good things for the Rams. And I know for me personally, I’m very grateful for all the good things that Todd did and what that meant for our team’s success and the leader that he was.”
McVay Circled Back to a Similar Situation Involving C.J. Anderson
Before making their run to the 2019 Super Bowl against the New England Patriots, the Rams made one late addition to their running back room by claiming C.J. Anderson off waivers. Anderson came to the eventual NFC champions after two shortened experiences with the Oakland Raiders and Carolina Panthers.
McVay did trace back to that situation in explaining the Rams’ current backfield situation, but saying he wants this experiment to differ from the December 2018 addition of the 2016 Super Bowl champion.
“But, I think what I’m interested in is different from a few years ago when you bring C.J. (Anderson) in,” McVay said. “Unfortunately for Cam, we’re going to miss him a lot and he’s meant a lot to this football team over the last year. But, Darrell Henderson has played really good football. And we’ve got an opportunity leading up into that September 12 date with the Bears to really say ‘OK, what can (Raymond) Calais do? What can Jake Funk do? What can Xavier Jones do? How do these guys really illustrate their skill sets on the practice field?”
McVay Won’t Have Entire Say in RB Situation
Obviously, going on without Akers is the big hurdle facing McVay and the Rams during 2021 training camp, which officially starts on Wednesday with the team holding their first open practice to fans since 2019.
McVay not only is giving the 2021 backfield group a chance to prove themselves, but plans to allow Rams RB coach Thomas Brown to have a major say in who gets to have touches in the Ram offense this fall.
“To say that you’d never do it — you don’t want to pigeon-hole yourself into that,” McVay said. “But we are going to use camp as an opportunity to let [RBs coach] Thomas Brown pour into these guys and see how they compete and handle probably a little bit heavier a workload than they anticipated.”
It’ll be a heavy load opportunity indeed for the likes of Henderson – the projected starter – and followed by Jones, Calais, Funk and lastly Otis Anderson Jr. But looks like the load won’t include Gurley as McVay answered that speculation.