Todd Gurley wasn't hurt Sunday, just played 'sorry'

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Todd Gurley missed the end of the regular season due to a knee injury, so when the dynamic running back was relegated to the sideline for much of Sunday's NFC Championship tilt, most assumed it was injury related.

Not so, says Gurley.

The running back told NFL Network's Steve Wyche after the Rams' 26-23 overtime win against the New Orleans Saints that his lack of playing time was performance-related.

"I was sorry. I was sorry as hell today," Gurley said. "I was sorry. So, C.J. (Anderson) did his thing. The whole team did its thing. Everybody kept me up during the game. That's why it's a team sport. This is the greatest team sport in America. It takes everybody, everybody on the team and that's what we did."

"Todd's healthy and he's feeling good," Rams coach Sean McVay said Monday. "He sure looked pretty healthy on that touchdown run where he ran through guys and demonstrated some explosion and what we know about him. More than anything, I've got to get him more opportunities."

Gurley took just four carries on the day for 10 yards and caught one of three targets for three yards. His 13 total yards and five total touches were both career lows.

His first touch of the game portended a poor day for Gurley, as he was destroyed by Saints linebacker Demario Davis for a four-yard loss. On the ensuing play, a pass from Jared Goff sailed through Gurley's hands into Davis' lap for an interception. Gurley would later have another pass slip through his fingers for a second drop.

He didn't play much from there on out. According to Next Gen Stats, Gurley played 32 of 67 snaps (47.8 percent) -- Gurley's lowest snap total in a game under McVay before this week was 36 snaps in Week 7, 2018 in a blowout win versus San Francisco.

"That was just kind of the feel for the flow of the game that we had," McVay said of Gurley's playing time. "Not anything against Todd, C.J. did a nice job, but I thought that they did a nice job as a whole, slowing down our run game, and we kind of just had to grind some things out."

McVay said during his Monday presser though that he "should've done a better job of getting Todd more involved."

"I thought C.J. had some tough, hard runs, but I definitely think I should've gotten Todd a little bit more involved. But again like the flow of the game, we've got to do what we think is in our best interest," the Rams coach told reporters. "And if anything that you love so much about Todd, and I think it epitomizes what's right about our football team, the ownership that he talks about with regards to 'I've got to play a little bit better.'

"I also think it is a result of the opportunities. He didn't have a lot of opportunities to play much better, so I think that's where I've got ownership in that as well and the great thing about it is he'll get a chance to make a big-time contribution and have a big-time role in our game against the Patriots."

Anderson carried the load taking 16 totes for 44 yards, but the bruising runner wasn't blasting huge gashes either, earning just 2.8 yards per carry with a long run of eight yards.

Yet behind Goff's spectacular day, the Rams advanced to the Super Bowl.

Gurley now has two weeks to put behind him whatever issue led to Sunday's struggles.

"That's why I was so emotional at the end," Gurley said. "Just to be able to get another opportunity, I'm so grateful, so grateful, playing on the biggest stage ever. I'm just very appreciative. Love my team, and it's a great feeling."

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