If you’ve followed the Rams this offseason, you’ve likely heard at least five iterations of the following question:
What’s up with Todd Gurley’s knee?
While the star running back himself hasn’t addressed the media since the end of Super Bowl LIII, head coach Sean McVay has been consistent with his messaging throughout the last two months on No. 30 — whether that was at the NFL Combine, the league meetings in Phoenix, or just last week on the Rich Eisen Show.
And McVay echoed the same sort of refrain on Monday, noting that the two-back approach with C.J. Anderson during the postseason “was because [Gurley] was forced to miss some games at the end of the year and we wanted to be smart about managing that load."
“Todd has shown that he can handle that,” McVay continued. “How we navigate through a season, it’s hard to say. But we anticipate, like we said the other day, [Gurley] being the focal point of our offense. Unless I’m told otherwise, he’s a pretty versatile back and we’re going to continue to utilize all of his skillsets.”
So, again, really nothing out of the ordinary from McVay there when it comes to addressing Gurley and his knee.
But for No. 30, how is he feeling now?
“My knee’s feeling good, man,” Gurley said on Monday. “Just been taking it day by day, and feeling pretty good.”
Does the knee feel different than it did at the end of the season?
“Oh yeah. I mean, took some time off, enjoyed my offseason and started back working out. But for the most part, everything’s going pretty good."
Any concern about the knee going forward and how he may have to manage it?
“All I can worry about is how I’m feeling right now. I don’t know how I’m gonna be feeling six months from now. So like I said, just kind of keep working hard, doing what I’ve been doing these past couple years — communicating with [head trainer] Reggie [Scott] or whatever that is. So really just, like I said, taking it day by day and trying to make sure I’m feeling my best once the season comes.”
What about the various reports about his knee, is there a specific diagnosis he can share?
“I mean, all I can focus on is how I’m doing right now. I’m feeling pretty good, taking it day by day, and trying to get better for the next season.”
Was there ever a discussion about undergoing a procedure to help the knee heal?
"No, not really. Just sat down with Reggie, talked about options or whatever. And really, just resting — that was the main thing. That was my first time ever playing in February — everyone’s first time playing in February. So really it would’ve been my knee, or my ankle, or my shoulder, but it woud’ve been time to give everything a rest. So I think that was the biggest part for me, to be able to take some time off, and then be able to know my body and come back and work out and just try to get back to finishing what we left off last year.”
…tired of all the knee questions yet?
“Nah, it’s cool. I know y’all been waiting for them, I’ve been waiting for them. So it’s all good.”
OK, so you probably get the picture — Gurley’s feeling fine right now and he’s taking things one day at a time. And that’s probably going to continue to be the standard answer until the Rams get into real competition in September … about five months from now.
Still, Gurley said he didn’t necessarily learn too many lessons going through that knee injury last year. He didn’t say it on Monday, but he’s certainly gone through worse with the ACL tear he suffered in his last year at Georgia. But Gurley was frank about the realities of the sports when addressing what happened in 2018.
“I mean, injuries are going to come,” Gurley said. “That’s why this sport, it’s 100 percent — everyone’s going to get hurt, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s just how you come back from it. You know? It’s not going to be the first time I’ve been hurt, it’s not going to be the last time I’ll be hurt — knock on wood. But that’s just part of football and knowing who you are as a person.”
Check out photos of the Los Angeles Rams players back in action for the offseason program.
So where do the Rams go from here? As McVay has said all along, the team wants to be intentional about the way Gurley’s offseason program goes — just as the club would be for any other player.
“Our goal is over the elongated period of time, really until the first game — that’s really the timetable that we’re operating with. How does that specifically affect his workload thought OTAs, into training camp? Those are things that we’re going to continue to monitor his progress, see how he’s feeling — communication from both sides,” McVay said. “He’s in a good place right now. He’s feeling good. I know it was good to get back in the building. He’s been here doing some things. That’s really something that as the offseason progresses and then as we get into training camp, he’s a guy that we will continue to monitor, but it’s like that with all of our players.”
In other words, the Rams and Gurley are just going to take it day by day as the 2019 season approaches.