The Atlanta Falcons made quite the splash in free agency, signing Todd Gurley to a one-year deal. That being said, the All-Pro running back might not be able to carry the load in the backfield.
Gurley has been dealing with a knee injury for the last two seasons. He’s still an effective tailback both in the passing and running game, but he cannot handle an abundance of touches on a weekly basis.
With the regular season almost here, Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter spoke to ESPN reporter Vaughn McClure about his plan for Gurley.
“I think a minimum of 15 touches and a high of 25,” Koetter told McClure. “But you’ve got to realize we’ve got a lot of guys that need touches. You’re going to have 64 plays in a game on average on offense. Depending on where you’re at in the season and wear and tear, I think the low is 15 and maybe the high end 25.”
Falcons OC sees 15-25 touches a game for Gurley https://t.co/BkE7NXJYeH
— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) August 25, 2020
Gurley has seen his touches go down in back-to-back years. After receiving 343 touches during the 2017 season, the Rams reduced his usage down to 315 touches in 2018. Last season, Gurley only had 254 touches in Sean McVay’s offense.
It’s starting to sound like Atlanta will go the “load management” route with Gurley.
This doesn’t mean the Falcons won’t get quality production out of Gurley. Conversely, it will require Koetter to use the Georgia product in the right situations.