Todd Gurley‘s limited offseason (and the Rams‘ cryptic remarks on their All-Pro running back’s injured knee) has created some uncertainty about how the fifth-year player will be used this season and if he will be as healthy as he looked to start last season. A March report indicated Gurley is dealing with arthritis in his knee, and while Gurley nor the Rams confirmed that, his trainer did. But Travelle Gaines does not believe Gurley’s limitations now, which have induced an individualized workout plan, should point to the 24-year-old runner being on a pitch count when the Rams’ playoff push ensues.
“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,” said Gaines, via CBS Sports, about his client, who underwent knee surgery in 2014. “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.”
Gurley missed Weeks 16 and 17 but bounced back to blaze for 115 yards on 16 carries in the divisional round. However, he gained just 45 yards the rest of the way, leading to speculation about the severity of his injury. He and the team have insisted the knee problem isn’t a major concern, but it will be hard to know for sure until the regular season begins. Here is the latest news coming out of the NFC West:
- Considering the changes made to their coaching staff and quarterback room, the Cardinals may be this offseason’s most overhauled team. Steve Keim also is open to more changes before training camp. “We had a lot of success in the past when we have had late-summer signings,” Arizona’s GM said (via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com) to the rest of the front office in the trailer for the latest Flight Plan, which is chronicling the team’s offseason. “There are players out there that we can find that will make this football team better.” The Cardinals have added talent late in the offseason, from John Abraham to Tre Boston, in recent years. They ranked 32nd in both yards and points last season, so further offensive augmentation wouldn’t be uncalled for.
- One of Keim’s top defensive investments ran into off-field trouble recently. Robert Nkemdiche was arrested for speeding and driving on a suspended license on June 6, Clayton Klapper of ABC 15 reports. The former first-round defensive lineman told police he was on his way to a Cardinals OTA workout that morning. Police also found a “white powdery substance consistent with cocaine” in a credit card case in the vehicle, Klapper adds. However, police did not and will not test the substance. The Cardinals, who did not pick up Nkemdiche’s fifth-year option in May, alerted the NFL in regards to the personal conduct policy.
- Moving back to the Rams, their defensive line will have a new starter — after Ndamukong Suh‘s free agency departure — and one of their rookies may be tabbed for the job. Fourth-round defensive tackle Greg Gaines may be the frontrunner to start at Los Angeles’ nose spot, Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic writes (subscription required). The 300-plus-pound Gaines played alongside Vita Vea at Washington in 2017 and in 2018 recorded a career-high 4.5 sacks.