Gurley appears to be walking with a limp, but he looks fast and explosive while going through drills, according to ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure reports.
It's possible Gurley is dealing with soreness that bothers him when he walks but not when he runs. Whatever the case, the Falcons have essentially acknowledged that the running back's problematic left knee requires management, with coach Dan Quinn suggesting Gurley will have his reps limited throughout training camp. The 26-year-old is working on a one-year, $5.5 million contract, and while it remains to be seen if he can stay healthy and productive, there's no question the Atlanta offense provides a nice opportunity to pile up snaps and touches. The backfield depth chart behind Gurley contains Ito Smith, Brian Hill and Qadree Ollison, a trio with 243 combined NFL carries and 52 receptions.
Coach Dan Quinn said Wednesday that Gurley could have some limitations during training camp, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Quinn also mentioned centerAlex Mack and safety Keanu Neal as players who could be limited, with the former being 34 years old and the latter coming back from an Achilles tear. Gurley falls in the maintenance category, as he missed just one game last season and then passed a physical for the Falcons in June. Signed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract, Gurley will now try to prove that his disappointing 2019 campaign was mostly caused by bad Rams blocking rather than deteriorating skills. Of course, the potential for practice limitations is a pretty clear sign the Falcons have some level of concern about Gurley's oft-discussed left knee.
Coach Dan Quinn has not yet made a decision on what Gurley's workload will look like during training camp, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Gurley passed his physical upon arriving in Flowery Branch in early June, and according to statements from his head coach and quarterback appears to be in excellent shape. The two-time All-Pro missed just four games over his final three seasons with the Rams, but diminished performance during the 2018-2019 playoff run had many wondering about the status of his surgically repaired left ACL. He was held to just 3.2 yards per carry during the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl and eventually yielded the lion's share of the workload to C.J. Anderson. With Gurley seemingly back near 100 percent and primed to rebound after an inconsistent 2019, Quinn wants to balance getting his new star back up to speed without subjecting him to an excessive early-season workload.
Gurley isn't confident in the NFL's restart plan, 92.9 The Game reports. "It's really not structured right," Gurley said. "There's not a proper plan in place that I'm comfortable with."
Gurley said he's prepared to not play at all or to only have half a season, noting that the NFL's last-minute approach to figuring things out has contributed to his pessimistic outlook. On a more positive note, he says his surgically repaired knee is feeling good, and he doesn't anticipate any trouble whenever he's able to first suit up for the Falcons. The soon-to-be 26-year-old is poised to replace free agent Devonta Freeman as Atlanta's lead back, coming in on a one-year, $5.5 million contract after spending his first five seasons with the Rams.
Gurley's one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Falcons should be considered "an absolute steal," per Jeff Kerr of CBSSports.com.
The former Georgia standout and 2017 AP Offensive Player of the Year returns to the Peach State on a "prove it" deal, as the Falcons exchange one veteran back for another, releasing Devonta Freeman for the 25-year-old Gurley. Despite having 5,404 rushing yards and 70 total touchdowns to his name in five professional campaigns, the prolific Gurley still finds himself with something to prove entering 2020. His production slipped substantially during 2019, as he dropped from a 4.9 yards-per-carry average in 2018 to a 3.8 yards-per-rush clip last year. Gurley also won't be working behind the most impressive offensive line of his career when he first suits up for Atlanta. Pro Football Focus graded the Falcons' offensive line 24th best in the NFL following the 2019 season, and the only notable upgrade the team has made since is acquiring third-round lineman Matt Hennessy.
Gurley traveled to Atlanta and passed a physical examination Monday, Orlando D. Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Gurley signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Falcons on April 10 but wasn't able to meet with a team physician until two months later. He recently took part in private workouts with Matt Ryan, who said he was impressed by the veteran running back. Gurley will turn 26 in August, and while he wasn't effective in Los Angeles last season, he could be headed for a big 2020 workload as the No. 1 guy on what's arguably the weakest backfield depth chart in the NFL. The Falcons have Ito Smith, Brian Hill, Qadree Ollison and Craig Reynolds behind Gurley.
Matt Ryan has been pleased with what he's seen from Gurley during private workouts in California over recent weeks, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
While the veteran running back has not yet been able to take his physical because of the Falcons' team facility remaining closed to players, he seems confident concerning the status of his surgically reconstructed left ACL. Amidst workouts with Ryan in Huntington Beach, CA, Gurley has steadily drawn praise from his new quarterback. "I've gotten to work with Todd and he's awesome," Ryan told ESPN. "I was really impressed with his ability to retain information. You don't have to tell him twice. He's on it." Gurley's success in 2020 hinges on how well his body continues to hold up against the physical demands of the RB position, but early indications are positive as he builds camaraderie with Ryan.
Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said that he won't be able to confirm what Gurley's workload will be until the running back can be evaluated in person, Kelsey Conway of the team's official site reports.
Given that Gurley has still yet to take his physical with the Falcons as a result of the ongoing pandemic, Koetter was unwilling to guess at precisely how often he is expected to play. "He can do everything. He's an excellent runner, he's good in the pass game [and] he can protect," Koetter explained. "The main question no one seems to know is, 'What's his health status? What is his workload?'" Gurley accounted for a career-worst 1,064 scrimmage yards during 2019, causing many to attribute his reduced productivity to a report that indicated the presence of an arthritic component to his knee. Now heading back to the state of his college alma matter, Gurley's health remains a question mark as he begins a journey to revitalize his career within the Falcons' high-powered offense.
Gurley still hasn't taken a physical exam to finalize his deal with the Falcons, Andrew Siciliano of NFL.com reports.
Gurley remains in California, unable to meet with team doctors in the midst of a pandemic. The Falcons don't expect this to be a major issue, as they presumably signed him to a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the understanding that his oft-discussed left knee is far from ideal. While the quality of his play hasn't exactly been consistent, Gurley did play 14 or more regular-season games each of the past four years for the Rams. There is some small chance, however, that a physical exam could nullify his agreement to sign with Atlanta.
Gurley and the Falcons agreed to terms on a one-year, $6 million contract Monday, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The 2017 AP Offensive Player of the Year committed to Atlanta just one day after being let go by the Rams on March 19, but the transaction was not officially passed through the Falcons' transaction wire until Monday, when the two sides landed on a finalized agreement. A tweet from Adam Schefter of ESPN indicates that Gurley has still not yet taken nor passed a physical with the Falcons' medical staff, so the condition of his left knee will be of great interest upon return to organized team activities. The addition of the three-time Pro Bowl back provides Atlanta with one of the NFL's most explosive groups of skill-position players, though Gurley's workload may have to be managed as it was last year when he garnered just 254 offensive touches -- a near 20 percent reduction from his 2018 touch count of 315.
Gurley has agreed to a one-year contract with the Falcons, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the running back is set to earn $5 million in 2020. The Rams released Gurley on Thursday and it didn't take long for the 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year to find a new job. He'll now top the Falcons' running back depth chart, with the team having parted ways with previous starter Devonta Freeman on Monday. Gurley, who turns 26 in August, comes with some concerns with regard to the soundness of his left knee -- with his deal pending a physical, per Jordan Schultz of ESPN -- but when healthy, he's proven to be a dynamic and productive back.
The Rams released Gurley on Thursday.
The team was facing a 4 p.m. ET deadline for $10.5 million of Gurley's contract to become guaranteed. The Rams will instead absorb a huge dead cap hit, parting ways with Gurley before he ever actually played a game on his four-year, $57.5 million extension. The decision to give him an early extension helped keep the peace at the time, but it came back to burn the Rams less than two years later. Gurley will become an unrestricted free agent, while the Rams are left with Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson (ankle) in the backfield.
Gurley is believed to be on the trading block, Lindsay Jones of The Athletic reports.
Gurley is entering the first season of a four-year, $57.5 million extension, with a complex contract structure that gives him strong protection through 2021. It's easy to see why the cap-strapped Rams want to trade him away after a disappointing 2019 campaign, but it isn't so easy to figure out which teams might be willing to take him. The Rams have Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson (ankle) and John Kelly on the depth chart behind Gurley.
Coach Sean McVay isn't sure if Gurley will have his reps managed again in 2020, Gregg Bell of The Tacoma News Tribune reports.
For all the discussion about his problematic left knee, Gurley missed just one game in 2019 while averaging 52.5 snaps and 17 touches per contest, losing practice reps rather than game reps. Of course, he dropped to 3.8 yards per carry and 4.2 per target, with his lack of explosiveness and poor blocking in front of him both contributing to the lackluster efficiency. Gurley's contract should keep him safe on the Rams' roster for at least one more season, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll retain a three-down role. The team could look to get Malcolm Brown and/or Darrell Henderson more involved.
Gurley ran for 68 yards on 20 carries and hauled in both of his targets for 21 receiving yards during Sunday's 31-24 win against the Cardinals.
In comparison to Gurley's 2017 and 2018 seasons in which he averaged 1,962 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns per year, 2019 will go down in fantasy annals as a disappointing campaign for the two-time All-Pro. Though his usage rate was cut by 19.4 percent in relation to his 2018 workload, Gurley still compiled 1,064 scrimmage yards and 14 total touchdowns -- an output that would be considered a career year for many NFL running backs. Malcolm Brown's three-yard TD run during the second quarter Sunday came as an unwelcome surprise for those banking on Gurley for fantasy championships Week 17. Throughout the year, however, Gurley proved capable of playing through what was described during the 2019 offseason to be an "arthritic component to his knee" while also maintaining the majority of the RB workload over backfield mates Brown and Darrell Henderson (ankle).
Gurley rushed 15 times for 48 yards and two touchdowns and failed to come up with either of his two targets in the Rams' 34-31 loss to the 49ers on Saturday.
Gurley averaged a pedestrian 3.2 yards per carry, but his second straight multi-touchdown effort rewarded fantasy managers who deployed him in their title games. The Pro Bowl running back has just 68 yards to show for 26 carries over the last pair of contests, and unless he can rattle off at least 211 rushing yards at the expense of the Cardinals in Week 17, he'll endure his first sub-1,000-yard season since 2016.
Gurley carried the ball 11 times for 20 yards and a touchdown and caught three of seven targets for 18 yards and a second TD in Sunday's 44-21 loss to the Cowboys. He also ran for a two-point conversion.
The Rams' offensive line was overwhelmed for most of the game, leaving Gurley with little room to operate, but he still found the end zone in the second and fourth quarters to put together a strong performance at a crucial time for those with fantasy shares in him. The running back has scored four TDs in the last three games, but he remains 259 rushing yards away from his third straight 1,000-yard campaign, a milestone he'll try to reach over the final two games of 2019.
Gurley rushed 23 times for 79 yards and a touchdown, adding 34 receiving yards on four receptions in Sunday's 28-12 win over Seattle.
The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Gurley would finally have the reigns taken off and be treated like the "bell cow that he is" prior to Sunday's contest, and the Rams held up their end of the bargain by giving their best offensive weapon 27 touches. It was just the second time this season that the 25-year-old received at least 20 carries and just the third time he touched the ball a minimum of 20 times in a single game. The reduced workload appeared to be premeditated after the superstar broke down -- along with the Rams' Super Bowl hopes -- toward the end of the 2018 campaign. The team is sitting at 8-5 -- behind San Francisco and Seattle -- in the toughest division in football, so coach Sean McVay is backed into a corner and will have to rely on Gurley if he wants to return to the playoffs for the third time in his tenure as head coach. Next week's opponent, the Dallas Cowboys, are more vulnerable to opposing rushing attacks, so Gurley could be in store for a big fantasy day if his heavy workload sticks going forward.
The Rams plan to treat Gurley "like the bell cow that he is" over their final four games of the season, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
After Gurley's arthritic left knee cost him some game action late in 2018 and limited his effectiveness in the postseason, the Rams have deliberately managed his snaps and touch count carefully for most of the season. The Rams have been ramping up Gurley's workload in recent weeks, however, as he's logged his two highest touch totals of the season (28 in Week 11 and 20 in Week 13) and has been productive while doing so. Citing the Rams' internal practice metrics for tracking players' speed, Rapoport notes that Gurley "is as fast now as he was in Week 1," which should offer further incentive for the 7-5 team to ride its feature back heavily over the final quarter of the season in pursuit of a playoff spot. Assuming the Rams follow through with that plan, Gurley could be poised to once again swing several fantasy playoff matchups, just as he memorably did in 2017.
Gurley rushed the ball 19 times for 95 yards and a touchdown in the team's Week 13 win over the Cardinals. He also added one reception for 20 yards.
Gurley lacked explosive rushes -- his longest run went for 11 yards -- but he consistently gained chunks of seven and eight yards. As a result, he surpassed 100 total yards from scrimmage for the second time in his past three games after reaching that mark just once in his first eight contests. Despite that positivity, the Rams are still monitoring Gurley's workload, as he did not receive a carry after the conclusion of the team's first drive in the fourth quarter. That usage was likely dictated by the blowout nature of the contest, so Gurley may finally be fully unleashed in Week 14 for a must-win contest against the Seahawks.
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