Rams RB Todd Gurley‘s trainer, Travelle Gaines, confirmed the veteran is dealing with arthritis in his knee.
However, Gaines says Gurley’s knee issues aren’t anything new or unplanned for.
“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,” Gaines said via CBS Sports’ Dave Richard. “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.”
It’s been reported previously that Gurley is dealing with arthritis in his knee, but this is the closest person to Gurley to confirm the news. Neither the Rams nor Gurley have publicly confirmed the report.
Gaines said in addition to keeping Gurley healthy, he’s also been working with the running back to lower his weight, decrease his body fat percentage and increase his speed.
“It was a collective decision for him to play a little lighter this year, not because of injuries, just because I just feel he’s one of the faster players in the league,” Gaines said. “He doesn’t have to play at 224 — 218 is only six pounds less, so I wanted to decrease his body fat a little bit and get him to the point where he’s a tad smaller so he can be a tad faster and a little bit bigger from a lean muscle mass standpoint. He’s going from basically 10 percent body fat to 7 percent body fat.”
Gaines said he hasn’t heard of any plans to decrease Gurley’s workload, though as Gurley’s independent trainer he wouldn’t necessarily be informed, but added there’s enough room for third-round rookie Darrell Henderson to have a role without it coming at Gurley’s expense.
“It’s never been told to me that there’s a plan to decrease his workload come Week One,” Gaines said. “At the end of the day, you need solid running backs, and they grabbed a home-run running back in the third round. . . . If you watched the games last year, Todd typically sat out two to three series last year. I don’t see anything changing with that, so you need a back who can catch, and I believe Darrell averaged around 9.0 yards per carry, a home-run type guy.”
Gurley, 24, is a former first-round pick of the Rams back in 2015. He was entering the final year of his four-year, $13.823 million contract and stands to make a base salary of $2.31 million for the 2018 season when the Rams picked up his fifth-year option last year.
Gurley later agreed to a new four-year extension worth $60 million and includes $45 million guaranteed with the Rams a few months later.
In 2018, Gurley appeared in 14 games for the Rams and rushed for 1,251 yards on 256 carries (4.9 YPC) to go along with 59 receptions for 580 yards receiving and 21 total touchdowns.