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Gurley's trainer confirms 'arthritic component' to knee

At every turn this offseason, the Los Angeles Rams downplayed Todd Gurley's knee situation, which hindered him down the stretch and into the playoffs last season.

Gurley's personal trainer, Travelle Gaines, confirmed to CBS Sports' Dave Richard recently that the running back has arthritic issues stemming from an ACL tear in college, but downplayed the impact on Gurley's play.

"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 late last week. "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."

Part of managing Gurley's workload is the running back shedding weight and keeping the grind down in the offseason.

"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."

Gurley's knee issue is a central theme of the Rams' offseason and will continue to be once games begin until the running back proves healthy for the entire season.

Questions about Gurley's playing time, and whether the L.A. coaching staff plans to curtail his touches escalated with the drafting of Darrell Henderson in the third round. Gaines dismissed the idea that the addition of other backs would influence Gurley's snaps.

"It's never been told to me that there's a plan to decrease his workload come Week 1," 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."

Of course, the Rams don't need to let Gurley's trainer know they plan to lower his touches.

Until the regular season begins, and we see the Rams' plan for Gurley in action, questions will persist. And even after the first few weeks, lingering queries will be pondered about how long that arthritic knee will hold up.

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