The Rams can try all they want to spin this thing positively. The reality is that running back Todd Gurley is no longer a centerpiece of the team’s offense. And Gurley seems to be getting upset about it.
He had a career-low five carries in Sunday’s 40-point outburst against the Bucs, who scored 55. For the season, he has 49 rushing attempts and 11 pass receptions in four games. That’s an average of 15 touches per game.
Through four games in 2018, he had 94 touches (23.5 per game). Through four games in 2017, the year Gurley was named the NFL’s offensive player of the year, he had 106 touches (26.5 per game).
Clearly, he’s not the player he recently was. Whether it’s a knee that has an “arthritic component” or a conscious decision to de-emphasize his involvement in order to save him for later in the year, Gurley doesn’t like what’s going on.
He didn’t say it during his press conference in advance of Thursday night’s game at Seattle, but watch his demeanor and listen to his answers. He’s currently not interested in talking to the media, about anything.
The Rams also weren’t interested in adding his final exchange with reporters to the transcripts that the team so diligently disseminates on a near-daily basis. Gurley’s transcript omits a question regarding whether Gurley playing alternating series is the coach’s decision or the player’s decision and Gurley’s salty answer to it.
“I think you asked this question before, so take the answer I gave you last time,” Gurley said.
The reporter pointed out that he didn’t recall ever asking that question.
“I don’t remember giving you the question either,” Gurley said, as the press conference ended.
It’s a tough situation for Gurley. Whatever the reason for his dramatically reduced role, his role is indeed dramatically reduced, and he seems to be working through the uncomfortable process of coming to terms with the fact that his best days have ended — and that his time with the Rams could be ending sooner than later, and possibly as soon as March.