Gurley’s a 2x All-Pro who recently turned 26-years-old, which on paper, isn’t someone you should typically worry about. Unfortunately for Gurley, he’s been dealing with a lingering knee issue that reportedly has arthritis. It’s one of those conditions where it may flare up or it may not.
The Los Angeles Rams decided to release Gurley and take on $20.15 million in dead cap even after he had a 14 touchdown season in 2019. His usage in the Rams offense noticeably declined and the Rams saw it best to part ways with Gurley. The Falcons wasted no time and signed Gurley to a one-year contract, bringing the All-Pro running back home to Georgia. Adding to an already talented offense, quarterback Matt Ryan discussed on the Rich Eisen Show his current impression of Gurley in training camp.
“I got to spend some time with him in the offseason, we put a little work in on the field,” Ryan said. “I was just blown away by how professional he is, how smart he is, his ability to recall information really quickly. The most impressed I’ve been was when we had a scrimmage at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last week. It was the first time lights went on, and it was a little bit more of an atmosphere. He has a gear that he can kick into that was impressive to see and not all guys have that. Some guys just have the ability to take it to another level when the lights come on and it’s time to go live — and he certainly did that last week, which impressed me. I’m excited about it, I think he’s going to be a really good fit for what we do offensively and a nice piece to us scoring points.”
His knee is definitely something on everyone’s minds, especially the Falcons themselves. Although we’ve yet to witness Gurley in a real in-game scenario in Atlanta, Ryan sounds optimistic about what he’s seen from the 2x All-Pro running back so far.
“I can’t speak for any other stuff that was going on before here. I can speak for the last three months that I’ve been able to get to see him on the field and he’s looked like he has progressed and continued to get better the entire way,” Ryan said. “He’s looked great during training camp, he really has. So, he looks healthy to me, he looks really good running the football for us, catching the football us in practice. I’m really excited about what he can bring. His production throughout his career has been incredible. If we can keep him healthy and keep him feeling good, I don’t see any reason he can’t be as explosive as he’s ever been.”
All we can do is be patient, and hope for the best. Even though offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter recently stated that Gurley could see anywhere from 15-25 carries a game, I doubt it. The Falcons not only have a very talented receiving corp, but the backfield has some quality backs who can come in to give Gurley a rest if needed. The offense doesn’t need to run through him, and that’s why I think Gurley will do well in Atlanta.