Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley Dealing With Arthritis In Knee

Although both Todd Gurley and the Rams downplayed his knee injury, it was clearly an issue during the NFC champions’ stretch run. More clarity emerged on that front to help explain the two-time All-Pro’s limited postseason usage.

Gurley has arthritis in his left knee, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (on Twitter). This is the same knee on which Gurley underwent ACL surgery in 2014, his final season at Georgia.

Sean McVay said this week surgery is “definitely” not in the cards but added during an interview with CBS Sports the Rams were examining “new methods” to help their ailing superstar. But it appears some form of rehab will be forthcoming, and the major investment the Rams made in Gurley does not look quite as good as it did last summer.

Still just 24, Gurley has posted three 1,000-yard rushing seasons and was on pace to push for a 25-plus-touchdown campaign in 2018. He missed the final two games of the regular season, scuttling that prospect and causing concern for his playoffs availability. Gurley was a key presence in the Rams’ ground-centered gashing of the Cowboys in the divisional round, but C.J. Anderson remain a big factor throughout the playoffs. Gurley averaged 5.3 yards per carry in the playoffs but totaled just 160 in Los Angeles’ three games, ceding time to Anderson and not frequently resembling his explosive pre-injury version.

Anderson, who made a seamless transition to McVay’s offense that is somewhat similar to the Gary Kubiak-based attack in which the Broncos’ former starter operated, is a free agent but would make sense as a longer-term Gurley insurance option.

Gurley’s gargantuan contract calls for $34.5MM in fully guaranteed money going forward. Another $9.5MM is guaranteed for injury. His status will obviously be something to monitor throughout the offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Ravens, Cowboys, Rams, Bills, Falcons

We’ve been hearing mixed things about John Harbaugh for a while now. The Ravens announced they hope to keep the coach longterm with an extension, but rumors have continued to swirl that Harbaugh isn’t willing to commit to Baltimore and that he may want to explore his options elsewhere. Numerous teams have been reported to be interested in trading for the coach, including the Broncos and Dolphins.

We have a new update on Harbaugh today, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports the Ravens have “yet to have any dialogue” with Harbaugh about a new contract. La Canfora writes that the “situation is being watched closely” by other front offices, and that several teams still have hopes of trading for him after the year. If the Ravens have a quick playoff exit, it could increase the chances that the two sides part ways this offseason. It’ll be one of the biggest stories to monitor the next few weeks, and we should know a lot more after the team’s game against the Chargers tomorrow.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Cowboys have a bunch of young players they’ll need to pay soon, and Ezekiel Elliott would like to be first in line. The third year running back has one more year left on his deal after this season plus his 2020 fifth-year team option, but he’d like to be extended this offseason, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). While Rapsheet notes that it “makes sense given his workload”, it’s unclear at what price the team values him. We heard back in November that the team might not be in any rush to extend Elliott, so it will be very interesting to see what the team does here.
  • By gaining more than 1,200 rushing yards, Todd Gurley got a $1MM bonus this season, Rapoport tweets. It brings the total value of Gurley’s extension with the Rams to four years and $58.5MM. Gurley got off to a red hot start to the year and was on pace to break the single season touchdowns record for a while, and while he cooled off a little bit during the second half of the season, he still had another dominant year. He’s been dealing with some knee soreness recently, but should be a full go for the Rams’ playoff run.
  • We also got details on Matt Barkley‘s recent extension with the Bills, that Mike Rodak of ESPN tweeted out. Barkley’s two year deal will pay him $1.25MM in 2019 and $1.5MM in 2020. Interestingly, Rodak notes that the team gave Barkley a $600K signing bonus. Getting that large of an amount of guaranteed money would suggest he has a significant leg up on Derek Anderson in the race to be Josh Allen‘s backup next year. Buffalo signed Anderson to a one year deal earlier this week. The deal also includes active roster and playing time bonuses for Barkley, who showed very well in his one spot start this season.
  • Locking defensive tackle Grady Jarrett up longterm is a priority for the Falcons this offseason, according to GM Thomas Dimitroff, per Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com. “We would like to have Grady back for many years to come”, Dimitroff said. Jarrett was one of the few bright spots on a Falcons defense that regressed mightily this season, and he received elite grades from Pro Football Focus. Jarrett, a fifth round pick in 2015, is set to be a free agent this offseason and should be in for a huge payday.

Rams To Rest Todd Gurley In Week 17

The next time Todd Gurley plays for the Rams, some type of NFC playoff logo will be featured on the field. The Rams declared Gurley out for Week 17.

Gurley has been dealing with knee inflammation and was a late scratch in Week 16. The Rams are not guaranteed a bye but can clinch the NFC’s No. 2 seed with a win over the 49ers or a Bears loss to the Vikings.

Sean McVay said (via The Athletic’s Vincent Bonsignore, on Twitter) he is not concerned about Gurley’s availability in January but wants to be smart about the return of his All-Pro running back. Gurley suffered the knee injury late in the Rams’ loss to the Eagles nearly two weeks ago. Sitting in the team’s regular-season finale was rumored all week. Now, C.J. Anderson will have another chance to audition for potential free agent bidders.

Gurley’s season will wrap up with 1,831 yards from scrimmage and a career-high 21 touchdowns. He’s been the centerpiece of McVay’s second Rams offense and obviously is key to the team qualifying for its first Super Bowl since the 2001 season. The 24-year-old back signed a market-setting extension to stay with the Rams long-term at the beginning of the season, and a second All-Pro honor will likely come his way soon.

Lamarcus Joyner will also be shelved in Week 17. The safety suffered an ankle injury against the Cardinals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Todd Gurley Could Miss Week 17

While Todd Gurley‘s knee injury has been described as “day-to-day,” but it still sounds like the Rams running back might not suit up for this weekend’s game against the 49ers. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that the team may show similar caution this weekend by keeping Gurley on the sideline (via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra). According to Rapoport, the team is operating under the logic that “nothing is more important than the playoffs.”

Of course, the Rams aren’t planning on punting next weekend’s contest. The team could still secure a first-round bye with a victory. If the Rams lose and the Bears win, Los Angeles would find themselves playing in the first-round of the playoffs. There’s obvious incentive to win, which provides some optimism that Gurley could end up seeing the field.

After missing practice all of last week, Gurley ended up missing the Rams’ win over the Cardinals yesterday. The running back started experiencing knee inflammation during a loss to the Eagles earlier this month, although there was some optimism that he wouldn’t be forced to miss any games. The 24-year-old is having another standout season in 2018, compiling 1,251 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 256 carries. He has also added another 59 receptions for 580 yards and four scores.

Fortunately for the Rams, the running game didn’t skip a beat yesterday. Recently-signed veteran C.J. Anderson finished the contest with 167 rushing yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. The Rams are also rostering former undrafted free agent Justin Davis and sixth-round rookie John Kelly, and the trio should be fine going against a 49ers defense that is allowing 110 rushing yards per game.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Crawford, Gurley, Foles

Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was carted off the field today following a scary collision with Buccaneers offensive lineman Ryan Jensen. Fortunately, it sounds like the veteran will be alright. Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes that a scan and MRI of Crawford’s neck came back as negative, and the lineman has been released from the hospital.

“Everything checks out very good,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I’m really pleased with the initial MRIs, all the examinations. He went on to the hospital and had those examinations. . . .He doesn’t seem to have structural issues at all.”

Crawford is having another productive season in 2018, compiling 34 tackles and a career-high 5.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus currently ranks Crawford 36th among 116 eligible interior defenders. If the lineman is forced to miss any time, the Cowboys could turn to former first-rounder Taco Charlton to fill in.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Rams running back Todd Gurley was forced to miss today’s win against the Cardinals, but it doesn’t sound like the Pro Bowler will be out for an extended amount of time. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports that the injury is “really a day-to-day thing,” and the team will continue to evaluate the ailment. While Gurley’s status for next weekend is still up in the air, it sounds like the running back will be good to go come playoff time. Fortunately for the Rams, the team’s running game didn’t seem to miss a beat without Gurley, as recently-signed veteran C.J. Anderson finished today’s contest with 167 rushing yards and one touchdown on 20 carries.
  • Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was briefly knocked out of today’s win over the Texans after suffering a hit from Jadeveon Clowney. While backup Nate Sudfeld made a brief appearance, Foles was able to return to the game and lead Philly to a much-needed victory. It also sounds like the veteran’s status for next week isn’t in doubt, as Foles told reporters that he is doing “great” (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). The signal-caller did acknowledge that he had X-rays taken after the game.
  • DeSean Jackson played today despite being list as questionable with a thumb injury, but the Buccaneers wideout was knocked out of the second half of his team’s game against the Cowboys with a foot injury. As Williams points out, the veteran lost his shoe on his only reception of the game, and he subsequently limped to the sideline before “collapsing in pain.” It sounds like Jackson doesn’t have much of a future in Tampa Bay, and today may have marked his final game with the organization. If the receiver doesn’t play next week, he’ll have finished the season with 41 receptions for 774 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Vontaze Burfict‘s return from a concussion didn’t last very long. The Bengals linebacker was knocked out of today’s game against the Browns with a concussion (via Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com). The veteran had just returned from a two-game absence, and he showed his dissatisfaction with today’s concussion by “angrily snatch[ing] his arm away from a member of the team’s athletic training staff.” This would mark the 28-year-old’s seventh reported concussion since he entered the NFL in 2012.
  • A pair of 49ers wideouts suffered injuries today, but they don’t sound as bad as they may have looked. Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets that rookie receiver Dante Pettis suffered an MCL injury, which is much better than the ACL injury that some were expecting. The second-round rookie has been productive in recent weeks, and he’s hauled in 24 receptions for 446 yards and five scores this season. Meanwhile, teammate Marquise Goodwin suffered an Achilles injury, but Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets that the injury isn’t serious. After a breakout season in 2017, Goodwin has struggled this year, compiling 20 receptions for 366 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games.

Rams RB Todd Gurley Won’t Play Today

With the Rams facing a potential cupcake matchup against the Cardinals this afternoon, the team has decided to sit one of their top offensive weapons. ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry reports (via Twitter) that running back Todd Gurley will not play against Arizona today.

The All-Pro running back did not practice this week after experiencing knee inflammation during last weekend’s loss to the Eagles. Gurley still finished that contest with 48 rushing yards and two scores, and there was some optimism that he’d be ready to go today. However, when you consider the Rams’ current playoff position, the decision isn’t all that surprising; the team has a pair of easy matchups to end the season, and they’re effectively two games back of the Saints in the home-field advantage race. Ultimately, it makes a whole lot more sense for the team to assure that Gurley is completely healthy heading into the postseason.

Of course, that’s not to say that the Rams won’t miss his presence on offense. The 24-year-old was having another standout season in 2018, compiling 1,251 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on 256 carries. He also added another 59 receptions for 580 yards and four scores.

With backup Malcolm Brown on the injured reserve, the Rams’ running back depth chart is a bit in flux. The team will roll into today’s game with three healthy backs: former undrafted free agent Justin Davis, sixth-round rookie John Kelly, and recently-signed veteran C.J. Anderson. While Gurley still played the majority of the snaps last week, Kelly and Davis ended up splitting the rest of the reps. Despite having less than a week of practice with his new team, there seems to be some chatter than Anderson will take over as the Rams’ lead back.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Wentz, Gurley, Newton, Draft

Cam Newton will not play in the Panthersfinal two games, and Monday night was the tipping point. The eighth-year quarterback complained of shoulder pain in the fourth quarter of recent games, but Albert Breer of SI.com notes Newton was dealing with soreness in the third stanza of Carolina’s 12-9 loss to New Orleans. This, and the short week going into the Panthers’ Sunday game, prompted Ron Rivera and Marty Hurney to bring the idea of shutting the starter down to owner David Tepper. The rookie owner concurred with the coach and GM and then informed Newton of the plan, Breer adds. It’s unclear if Newton is dealing with anything beyond shoulder soreness, but he has not looked the same for weeks. And a national audience observed the former MVP’s throwing issues Monday.

Newton underwent shoulder surgery last year, sidelining him for much of the offseason. Two years remain on the 29-year-old QB’s contract, and how he recovers from this latest shoulder problem may determine the timetable the Panthers set for discussing another extension.

Here’s the latest from around the league going into Week 16:

  • Carson Wentz is set to join Newton in ending his season early, with back trouble shelving the Eagles‘ franchise passer. This, however, is not the first back issue Wentz has dealt with in his career. Wentz discovered a stress fracture in his back during his redshirt year at North Dakota State, Tim McManus of ESPN.com reports. This injury, suffered prior to his North Dakota State tenure, healed fairly soon and is not related to his current setback, per McManus. Still, this may be something for the Eagles to monitor as they determine how to proceed with Nick Foles or a possible replacement backup this coming offseason.
  • On the subject of NFC injuries, Todd Gurley has yet to resume running after he experienced knee inflammation, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com notes. The fourth-year Rams running back returned to Sunday’s game but has not practiced this week. He does not plan to do so the rest of this week but does expect to play against the Cardinals. With the Rams facing two bottom-end teams during the final two weeks of this season (the Cards and 49ers), and being effectively down two games to the Saints in the home-field advantage race, it would not be a surprise if Sean McVay rested Gurley until the playoffs. McVay rested Gurley and other starters in Week 17 of last season, even though the Rams were not locked into a seed. The Rams, who have not held a first-round bye since 2003, are one game up on the Bears for this year’s No. 2 seed.
  • Ohio State running back Mike Weber has taken a backseat to J.K. Dobbins during the past two seasons, but the first of the Buckeyes’ post-Ezekiel Elliott starters will declare for the 2019 draft. A redshirt junior, Weber announced his decision on Twitter. Weber finished his career with 2,580 yards, 5.9 per carry, and 24 rushing touchdowns. He did not make much of an impact in the passing game but may be a mid-round prospect come April.
  • The Lions worked out quarterback Joe Callahan and hosted three CFL tryouts — for wide receivers Bryant Mitchell, D’haquille Williams and Jordan WilliamsLambert — on Thursday, NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets.
  • With reserve/futures decisions for non-playoff teams due soon (the first day such deals can be agreed to is New Year’s Eve), the Browns also worked out a CFL-to-NFL hopeful. Linebacker Sam Eguavoen auditioned for the Browns on Thursday, per Balzer (on Twitter).

NFC Notes: Eagles, Collins, Gurley, Panthers

Providing an interesting flashback, Nick Foles engineered the Eagles to a big win Sunday night. He is going to be Philadelphia’s starter next week against the Texans, Doug Pederson said Monday. However, unlike last season, Carson Wentz is not headed to IR after what is viewed as a season-ending injury, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The third-year starter is expected to miss the rest of the season because of a back problem, so an IR trip would make sense — unless the Eagles want Wentz around in case he can make a surprise recovery or be an emergency quarterback. Pederson added that the Eagles will not put Wentz in harm’s way. The Eagles remain committed to the former No. 2 overall pick, who is eligible for an extension at season’s end. Foles, though, has started during the team’s biggest wins the past two years and will have another chance to build a unique free agency case. Foles’ contract expires after the season.

The latest from the NFC here, continuing with a key Giants offseason decision:

  • Landon Collins is rehabbing an injury that is expected to impact him well into the offseason. The Giants safety said he risked further damage to his injured shoulder by continuing to play, though he said during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show (via ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan, on Twitter) he would have considered staying on the field if the Giants had beaten the Eagles to stay in a more realistic playoff pursuit at the time. Collins’ contract expires soon, and the Giants are not believed to have engaged in extension talks with him yet. Collins, though, would prefer to stay in New York and is, as of now, expecting to return (Twitter link via Raanan). The franchise tag — expected to be worth approximately $11.2MM for safeties — is likely, Raanan adds.
  • Another high-profile player might not be back with his current employer. Matt Kalil signed a somewhat surprising five-year, $55MM Panthers contract in 2017, and that deal still has guarantees going into 2019. The Panthers would be tagged with $14.7MM in dead-money charges if they released Kalil next year — and such a move would not net Carolina anything in cap savings — but The Athletic’s Joe Person notes (subscription required) the current sense is Kalil will be released. The Panthers have a new owner in David Tepper, and the GM that authorized the Kalil contract, Dave Gettleman, is now with the Giants. So, a cut-your-losses maneuver would add up more compared to if the decision-makers behind the contract were still in place. Kalil has spent all season on IR.
  • Todd Gurley‘s knee injury surely terrified millions of fantasy owners, and it would throw another wrench in a slumping Rams attack. But Sean McVay said Monday (via ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry, on Twitter) Gurley is day-to-day with knee inflammation. This does not mean the All-Pro running back is a lock to face the Cardinals on Sunday, but it appears Gurley has dodged a multi-week injury and will be fine for the playoffs at the latest.
  • Greg Olsen underwent foot surgery on Monday, Person tweets. The Panthers’ Pro Bowl tight end said the procedure went well. Olsen is signed through the 2020 season, but the foot trouble that’s plagued him may not make it a lock he returns next year.

West Notes: 49ers, Sherman, Rams, Broncos

After passing his physical with the 49ers, cornerback Richard Sherman collected a $2MM bonus, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Not only did Sherman earn some extra cash, but he won’t have to begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list, a good sign after his 2017 campaign ended thanks to a torn Achilles. Sherman, 30, signed a three-year deal with San Francisco earlier this year, but the pact contained just $3MM in full guarantees. Sherman has now picked up an extra $2MM, and if he earns a spot on the 49ers’ roster (as fully expected), he’ll rake in a base salary of $2MM.

Here’s more on the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Free agent receiver Dez Bryant has been linked — often by his own statements — to the 49ers this offseason, but general manager John Lynch today downplayed any interest his club might have in the pass-catching market. “We’re always looking to improve our team, but we’ve been pretty steadfast,” Lynch said, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). “We like our receiver corps.” Bryant, for his part, said on Instagram that he’d like to play for the 49ers, while Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report indicated many league insiders believe Bryant will end up in San Francisco. The 49ers’ wideout depth chart is comprised of Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, second-round rookie Dante Pettis, and Trent Taylor, so they may not have room for Bryant, who is being considered by the Browns.
  • Todd Gurley‘s new four-year extension with the Rams has a base value of $57.5MM, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has provided the remaining details of the pact. Gurley received a $21MM signing bonus and will have $26.95MM fully guaranteed at signing, but his practical guarantees are much greater than that. Unless Gurley is cut after the 2018 campaign, he’ll bring in $34.5MM by the third day of the 2019 league year. As Joel Corry of CBSSports.com tweets, Gurley’s 2018 cap charge actually increased by ~$2.6MM as a result of the extension,
  • The Broncos have placed receivers Carlos Henderson and Jimmy Williams on the reserve/did not report list, per Mike Klis of 9News and Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post (Twitter links). While Henderson is dealing with a personal situation and figures to report eventually, Williams is considering retirement. Denver has already signed Mark Chapman to fill one receiving void, and the club will ink another pass-catcher soon, tweets Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic.

West Rumors: Gurley, Broncos, Raiders

The base value of Todd Gurley‘s four-year extension with the Rams in $57.5MM, tweets Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, who confirms previous reports that Gurley can max out at $60MM from 2020-2023. Gurley is now the NFL’s second-highest-paid running back to the Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell, as Gurley will earn $14.375MM annually compared to Bell’s franchise tag value of $14.544MM. Of course, Bell is only playing on a one-year tag, so Gurley now holds the most lucrative multi-year deal in the league. Gurley reportedly received $45MM in guarantees, although it’s unclear whether that total refers to injury guarantees or full guarantees at signing.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • The Broncos had a first-round grade on wide receiver Courtland Sutton before eventually landing him on Day 2 of the draft, according to Nicki Jhabvala of the Athletic. Sutton, an SMU product, ultimately fell to the top of the second round (pick No. 40), so Denver did not have to sacrifice capital in order to move up for its preferred target. “He has a huge catch radius and he’s got great ball skills,” Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said of Sutton. “As a route runner, it’s coming, but he’s so big and strong that if he doesn’t win with the route, he wins with his body.” Sutton is likely too large to see much time in the slot, but veteran pass-catcher Emmanuel Sanders could move inside in three-wide sets if Sutton wins a starting role. He’ll be competing with fellow rookie DaeSean Hamilton, whom Denver selected out of Penn State in the fourth round. Over his final two collegiate campaigns, Sutton averaged 72 receptions, 1,166 yards, and 11 touchdowns per year.
  • Given that Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin sit atop the Raiders‘ running back depth chart, Oakland will likely decide between keeping Jalen Richard or DeAndre Washington, as Scott Bair on NBC Sports Bay Area writes. The only problem? Richard and Washington are extremely similar players, with close physical statures (each stands 5’8″ and 205 pounds) and overall production. Both Richard and Washington averaged greater than five yards per carry during their respective rookie seasons in 2016, but each took a backseat in 2017 after Lynch was acquired from the Seahawks. Making the decision even more difficult is that both Richard and Washington return punts and kicks (in 2017, they both played exactly 33.4% of Oakland’s special teams snaps!). Whichever player is ultimately cut is sure to quickly find another home, possibly through the wavier system.
  • Broncos defensive tackle Clinton McDonald is “good to go” for training camp after suffering from a bacterial infection related to a 2015 shoulder operation, reports Mike Klis of 9News. McDonald, who signed a two-year deal with Denver earlier this year, missed the club’s entire offseason program while recovering from the infection. He was also forced to accept a pay reduction as a result of the health issue, although he can earn the $3MM he sacrificed back by appearing in all 16 games for the Broncos during the upcoming campaign. McDonald, 31, appeared in 14 games for the Buccaneers a season ago, will join fellow interior defender Domata Peko on a Denver defensive line that already ranked fourth in Football Outsiders’ adjusted line yards in 2017.