After three weeks of action, it's clear that Todd Gurley's workload has been lessened. Given the prevailing questions over his decrease in production late last season, and what relation that had to his health, it would make sense if the Rams are preserving Gurley for the latter part of the season. After all, no running back in the NFL has more touches over the past four-plus years.
Just don't call his reduced role load management.
Los Angeles looks to still be getting a feel for what it's best at on offense. The Rams (3-0) haven't lost but they also haven't operated at the level they did while leading the NFL in points over the past two seasons. The biggest discrepancy has come in the running game, specifically with Gurley.
Against the Browns on Sunday, the two-time All-Pro carried the ball 14 times for 43 yards. McVay said that was on him, not Gurley.
"I have to do better about being able to give him a chance to really get more into a rhythm than what I've enabled him to do in these first three games," McVay said.
The fifth-year back is averaging 4.6 yards per carry but just 14.6 carries per game. He's also caught only six passes and scored one touchdown. A year ago, Gurley led the NFL with 21 touchdowns while carrying a substantially greater load. He averaged 18.2 carries per game and had at least 17 rushing attempts in seven of the first eight games of the season. He's yet to have that many in a game this year.
That's largely because Malcolm Brown has 20 carries himself. After having a limited role the previous four seasons, Brown is producing at a 4.8-yard-per-carry clip in 2019 and already topped his career-high with two touchdowns. McVay planned all along to get his No. 2 back more involved. His initiative moving forward is to get more out of Gurley, too.
"I think it's worked out good in terms of the balance," McVay said. "But like I said, I think there is some things you'd like to do a lot better job of giving Todd an opportunity to really get going."