McVay cites rotation for not feeding Todd Gurley in 4th

The Los Angeles Rams offense is all out of whack, but more inexplicable than the struggles of the offensive line and the quarterback is Sean McVay's usage -- or lack thereof -- of Todd Gurley.

Gurley was having his best rushing day in months, gashing a good Steelers defense for 6.1 yards per carry on 12 totes, for 73 yards. The running back's last touch came with 1:00 remaining in the third quarter.

That is not a typo.

Todd Gurley, the Rams' best offensive player Sunday, went the entire fourth quarter without touching the ball.

It's not as if this were some sort of blowout where sitting the gnarly-kneed Gurley would make sense. No. L.A. entered the fourth quarter trailing 14-10 and got an early safety to make it 14-12. The entire period was played within one score, yet Gurley touched the pigskin zero times in the 17-12 loss.

"That was just kind of the rotation," McVay said, when asked why Gurley wasn't on the field to begin the fourth quarter, via The Athletic. "Sometimes I'm on both sides of the headsets. There's just a lot of trust for our coaches that have some of the (confidence) to be really able to say, 'Alright, who's in?' Then I will be able to click back on, and then we know what we are going with."

It's fine for McVay to manage his starter's snaps, especially given Gurley's knee history. But it's not as though the running back was kept out the entire quarter. According to Next Gen Stats, Gurley played 11 of 17 fourth-quarter snaps after taking a breather the first two drives. Yet, not once did McVay and/or Jared Goff call his number. No rushes, no targets.

Gurley was effective through three quarters, generating his highest rushing total (73 yards) and yards per carry (6.1) since Week 1. Gurley has now gone eight straight games without 100-plus rushing yards, his longest streak in a season since going the entire 2016 season without any 100-yard games. You'll remember 2016 as the end of the Jeff Fisher era.

The Rams have continually insisted Gurley is healthy -- he's not been on the injury report -- and McVay won't suggest his RB is on any sort of pitch-count, even though his actions suggest otherwise. Gurley has yet to record 20-plus offensive touches in a game this season.

The highly paid running back replied, "Not really," when asked if he should have seen the ball his way more late in the tilt, noting he's "used to it."

With the Rams falling to 5-4 -- third in the NFC West by two games, and two games behind the final wild-card spot -- McVay might have to take a hard look at his offense and determine if his current rotation that ignores his best offensive weapon for an entire quarter can help dig his team out of its current hole.

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