Since players and coaching staff are now allowed back into team facilities, Todd Gurley was able to undergo his highly anticipated physical. And as many around the organization expected, the former Bulldog passed on Monday in Atlanta, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
After having an agreement with Atlanta for nearly two months, Todd Gurley finally was able to fly to Atlanta, where he took and passed his Falcons physical Monday, per source. With his physical behind him, Gurley now can focus on his preparation for a bounce-back season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 9, 2020
In 2017 and 2018, Gurley was widely regarded as the best running back in the league, as the Rams turned him into a duel threat, leading to back-to-back First-Team All-Pro selections. However, at the tail end of the 2018 campaign, rumors about Gurley’s knees ran rampant, and the results were visible on the field, especially in the Super Bowl, where the Rams high-powered offense only managed to score three points in a loss to the Patriots.
Gurley was diagnosed with having arthritis in his knee, an unfortunate injury for a 24-year-old running back entering his prime because it is an issue that will never fully heal. It’s all about pain tolerance. Some days he can handle 20+ carries, and on others, he will have to be used primarily as a decoy. This led to a career-low 223 carries and 857 rushing yards for Gurley in 2019, and the Rams ultimately decided to part ways with him in the offseason, despite it costing them quite a bit of change.
The Falcons signed Gurley to a one-year, $5.5 million prove-it contract, something Gurley was hell-bent on making happen. He wanted to return to the place where he first made a name for himself on a national stage, and he still believes he has a lot left in the tank. Earlier this off-season, Matt Ryan had several positive things to say to ESPN’s Vaughn Mcclure about working with Gurley:
“I’ve gotten to work with Todd and he’s awesome,” Ryan told ESPN. “Really, really good guy. A hard worker. He’s super-smart. The stuff I was telling him one day, the next day he had it done. I was really impressed with his ability to retain information. You don’t have to tell him twice. He’s on it.”
The fantastic thing about this situation is that the Falcons do not need Gurley to record 20+ touches in each game. They are a pass-first offense and also have a loaded running back room, featuring Ito Smith, Brian Hill, and Qadree Ollison — all of whom played a significant role last season. If Gurley can provide 200-250 explosive touches, this contract will be well worth it. Anything else is just gravy.
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