Terrell Davis knows all too well what it's like to be an star NFL running back dealing with knee issues at a young age. Unfortunately, he sees a lot of his situation in the one with new Atlanta Falcons back Todd Gurley.
For a short span, Davis was one of the NFL's best offensive weapons. Between 1996-98, he won a pair of Super Bowls, and landed the Super Bowl XXXII MVP Award, made three All-Pro First Teams and three Pro Bowls, won the NFL MVP award in 1998 after leading the league in rushing yards and touchdowns, and the a pair of NFL Offensive Player of the Year Awards.
He was out of the league completely after the 2001 season, after a litany of knee issues and other injury woes. The impressive height of his career was enough to get him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Still, it stands to wonder how high up the all-time lists he would have climbed if he had been able to stay healthy.
Davis is worried that Todd Gurley is on a similar trajectory. He had a similarly incredible run from 2015-18, making three total All-Pro Teams and Pro Bowls in that time. In 2017, he won NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Knee injuries have been an issue for him since his time at Georgia, and Davis thinks he'll have a hard time getting back to that peak with Atlanta, and discussed things with TMZ Sports.
Davis described how things went for him once the knee injuries started. There's a level at which the swelling won't stop guys from playing, but prevent them from having their full speed and range of motion. In the NFL, that is all the difference.
"What happens is you feel like your knee -- like you have just enough swelling in your knee, just enough, to where it doesn't stop you from running, but you don't have the full flexibility or mobility and you just feel like you're just a second slower," TD says.
"When you think about making a cut, it's like the signal from your brain to your knee is like, it just comes just a fraction of a second too slow where your knee doesn't respond to it. And, that's what was happening for me."
He won't totally rule out Gurley being effective in Atlanta though.
"If he could come out of this one year and have the attitude that, 'I want to prove everybody wrong' -- which I feel Todd will -- he could have a really good year."
Hopefully for Gurley and the Falcons, that is the case. It'd be a shame for his prime to be behind him at 25.