Gurley's knee was a "wear-and-tear issue" | Shark Bites | Draft Sharks

A source tells NFL Network's Steve Wyche that Rams RB Todd Gurley's knee was a "wear-and-tear issue." The reports of what was ailing Gurley late in the year have been all over the place -- and we'll probably never know exactly what was wrong. The trouble was with the same knee in which Gurley tore the ACL in at Georgia back in 2014. And it's worth noting that he's racked up 1,281 touches over 4 NFL seasons -- an average of 320 per year. He turns just 25 in August, though, so we shouldn't need to worry about him breaking down yet. Still, Gurley will be 1 of the most interesting decision points in the 1st round of 2019 fantasy drafts. His ADP is sitting at 1.03 in February FFPC drafts.

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The Rams recognize that RB Todd Gurley's days as a workhorse are over, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "The days of Todd Gurley just being the straight-up, every-down bell cow are probably over, just based on his knee, his age, the position, the amount of carries he's had," Rapoport said. "Gurley's knee, the wear and tear on that knee, the surgically repaired knee, is something that everyone knows has been concerning to the team for some time." At this point, it's obvious that Gurley's volume will decline in 2019. What we don't yet know is how much it'll decline. Gurley averaged 22.9 touches per game in 2017 and 22.5 last year. We currently have him projected for 19.6 touches per game this season. That's subject to change, of course. We'll continue to monitor this situation and adjust Gurley's projections throughout the summer.

A couple of big-time NFL insiders -- Jay Glazer and Michael Lombardi -- used the same word when discussing Rams RB Todd Gurley's knee this weekend: "concern." Wrote Glazer: "It is a concern. The sky isn’t falling but even now, they’re being smart about it. It did swell up on him last year, this is a knee that has had wear and tear. Eventually, you’re going to factor this in especially with them having to sit him down the stretch last year. It’s not all doom and gloom, but it is definitely something you have to monitor and be prepared for in case that thing blows up on him again." And Lombardi: "Gurley's knee was a medical concern coming out of Georgia, most of the NFL was in shock when the Rams gave him that huge deal on his second contract, not because of talent, rather because of his knee." The left knee that gave Gurley trouble late last season is the same knee in which he tore the ACL in at Georgia back in 2014. The Rams admitted earlier this offseason that they're considering scaling back Gurley's workload going forward -- and that only seems more likely after they brought back Malcolm Brown and used a 3rd-round pick to add Darrell Henderson. We'll hopefully have a better idea of Gurley's status when we get into the heart of fantasy drafting season in late August. But for now, he looks like the biggest risk/reward pick in your draft. We just bumped Gurley down (and Henderson up) the RB rankings.

The Rams are holding RB Todd Gurley (knee) out of team drills in OTAs as part of a "specific, individualized offseason plan," ESPN's Lindsey Thiry reports. Gurley hasn't been spotted on the field in either of the Rams' workouts that have been open to reporters, but HC Sean McVay said he's been at the practice facility. "He's also been here consistently, pretty much every single day of the week," McVay said. "He's been an active participant following the program that we've implemented with him and we're very pleased with where Todd is at right now." Gurley's troublesome left knee will be 1 of the biggest fantasy storylines of the summer. He's been dropping to the late 1st and even the 2nd round of recent drafts.

When asked at the beginning of the offseason program this week about his knee, Rams RB Todd Gurley managed only cautious optimism to the Los Angeles Times: "I'm feeling pretty good. All I can worry about is how I'm feeling right now. I don't know how I'm going to be feeling six months from now. Just trying to make sure I feel the best when the season comes." We've all seen/heard countless examples of athletes erring on the side of confidence with their recovering body parts. That makes this response from Gurley seem fairly worrisome. If he can't even muster an "I'm feeling great" in April, it's tough to know what we can expect come October. Gurley's upside certainly remains worth a 1st-round draft slot until something more substantial comes out. (The Rams have declined to specify his knee ailment.) But Gurley belongs in the middle of the round for early drafting, rather than near the top. Backup Malcolm Brown also carries big handcuff upside into 2019 fantasy football drafts. Count on this being the most closely tracked fantasy situation of the year.

Rams GM Les Snead said at the Combine that his team is considering scaling back RB Todd Gurley's workload due to concerns over his troublesome left knee. "There's an element of wear and tear and I think we have to determine in probably two stages: are we going to give him the amount of load that he's had in the past or are we going to lessen that load to let's say keep him fresher for the season and for the seasons beyond," Snead said. The Rams backfield, of course, devolved into a committee late last year with Gurley and C.J. Anderson. Anderson is now a free agent, so we'll see whether L.A. brings him back or adds another RB who can handle significant work. Gurley remains a clear-cut RB1 heading into 2019, but RBs Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott look like safer bets at the top of drafts right now.

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