Los Angeles Rams star running back Todd Gurley dealt with an undisclosed knee issue at the end of last season. He missed the final two games of the regular season.
When Gurley did return for the playoffs, he was used sparingly and seemed to lack his usual explosiveness. He ceded many carries to the recently signed C.J. Anderson in the postseason, and tallied just 35 yards rushing on 10 carries in a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.
In March, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported that Gurley was dealing with arthritis. The Rams didn’t confirm this news, but his trainer seemed to acknowledge this in a recent interview with CBS Sports.
Rams running back Todd Gurley has arthritis in his knee, according to a source. Helps explain his limited usage in the playoffs.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 2, 2019
Gurley’s trainer Travelle Gaines told CBS Sports that the key is for his client to manage his workload in order to maintain peak effectiveness throughout the season.
Gurley suffered a torn ACL back at Georgia in 2014, but recovered enough to be a top-10 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and earn All-Pro honors in 2017 and 2018.
“Everybody knew when Todd came out of Georgia that there would be some kind of arthritic component to his knee, which is part of every surgery whether it’s a shoulder, a knee, an ankle,” Gaines said late last week. “He’s now at the year-five mark, all we’re doing is managing that. If we can pound him less in the offseason while keeping his weight down, working on his strength, working on his agility in short areas, that’s going to give him a better chance to be healthy Weeks 14 through 17 when they really count.”
Even though he missed two games last season, Gurley still produced a league-leading 17 rushing touchdowns. It was the second-straight season he’s paced the NFL in rushing TDs.
He rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries in a Divisional Round win over the Dallas Cowboys, but registered just 14 carries, 45 yards and one touchdown in his final two playoff games.