Since the latter part of last season, Todd Gurley’s health status has been a mystery wrapped in a riddle. After averaging 98 yards per game through the Rams‘ first 12 contests, Gurley topped 50 yards just once in his final five games, including the playoffs.
The Rams have been vague about exactly what’s wrong, but the curtain was lifted this week when Gurley’s trainer told our Dave Richard that the All-Pro running backand that “everybody knew” this would be the case when Gurley came out of Georgia, because of the surgery he’d had for a torn ACL.
So, the Rams have known this for years? Why have they kept it such a secret? And what does it mean for the future of the team and Gurley? Ryan Wilson, John Breech and Sean Wagner-McGough broke it all down on Tuesday’s edition of the Pick Six Podcast.
“Doesn’t all of this make the decision to give Gurley an extension less than a year ago all the more puzzling and perplexing?” Wagner-McGough asked. “I mean, you just mentioned his trainer saying everybody knew this was going to be a thing because he had ACL surgery in college, so why in the world are you giving him a four-year, $60M extension?”
Gurley got that four-year deal in July of 2018. He was taken by the Rams with the 10th pick of the 2015 draft, after undergoing surgery on his left knee the previous November.
“Even if he didn’t have that lingering knee issue coming into the NFL, we’re always talking about how you shouldn’t give running backs big money, and then you add in the fact he had the knee problem,” Wagner-McGough said. “And the Rams can’t get out of the deal anytime soon. He’s got a dead cap of $35M so they can’t cut him this year, and they can’t cut him next year when he’s got a dead cap of $25M.
“Ryan mentioned he averaged 48 yards per game in his last five last season. If that’s the production they’re getting out of him the rest of his contract, that will go down as an all-time bad contract.”
Breech pointed to the cloud of secrecy in L.A. as another cause for concern.
“Here’s the thing: the Rams spent the entire offseason tiptoeing around the issue,” Breech said. “Les Snead, Sean McVay, they both got asked on the spot about arthritis and basically ducked the question. They’ve been playing it down.
“This is not making me feel any more comfortable about Gurley’s knee, and I was already uncomfortable with it.”
Listen to the full conversation below, which also includes discussions about the new Steelers, the best journeyman QBs and more, and be sure to subscribe/listen daily to get all the latest NFL news and notes.