Just over a fortnight before training camp opens and we get daily updates on the knee injury that has fans, spectators, and fantasy footballers all scratching their heads over, Gurley gave a preview Tuesday night to NFL Network's Omar Ruiz at the Gatorade Player of the Year ceremony.
"It's good, man. It's good," Gurley said of his knee. "I'm just like, hey, we're going to find out in training camp, you know? Once training camp comes, you've got the preseason, but you don't have a lot in preseason."
Gurley sat out offseason workouts as the Rams managed his knee issue, which his trainer confirmed this summer includes an "arthritic component." As he indicated, the running back is likely not to do much in the preseason and could be brought along slowly in training camp. During the spring, coach Sean McVay repeatedly stiff-armed concerns about Gurley's workload, noting the running back was slimming down this offseason to handle the workload better.
For his part, Gurley said Tuesday night he doesn't plan to change his playing style to get through the season fresh.
"No, man," Gurley told Ruiz. "For me, I've been doing this my whole life, so it would be so hard for me to even try to change my style of play. That's not even me. I don't even know how to describe my game. I'm just going to keep doing what I can do until I can't do it no more. That's why we play this sport. But I've been feeling good. I'm definitely not going to change anything. I'm going to come with that same mindset like third-and-1, fourth-and-1, I'm gonna try to go get it. So I'm just excited. I know it's always been a lot of talk going on this whole offseason, so it's just like, hey, it's the offseason. That's what everything is supposed to be about: speculation and reporting. Once the season comes, you gonna see what happens."
It's not so much Gurley's playing style that might change in 2019, but rather the Rams' usage of the two-time first-team All-Pro. While coaches might insist at the start of camp that nothing's changed, the team's moves this offseason belie any statement of the sort. L.A. team brass matched an offer to restricted free agent Malcolm Brown, and used a third-round selection on Darrell Henderson, who many believe has the skillset to siphon a good chunk of Gurley's duties.
Since the Super Bowl ended, the Rams, McVay, and Gurley have insisted the running back's knee is fine. Observation and logic suggest lingering questions. We might finally have a better idea of the running back rotation during training camp, but the queries about Gurley won't dissipate until well into the regular season and until the running back proves he can make it through a complete season.