It was another Rams practice and another day minus their star running back Todd Gurley.
If that bothered Los Angeles coach Sean McVay, he was good at disguising it.
“We are very please where Todd is at right now,” McVay said on Tuesday.
Where Gurely isn’t is noteworthy, depending on how critical one gauges these voluntary offseason training activities.
What’s clear is it’s a departure for Gurley, who ended last season with questions swirling about his cranky left knee.
McVay, though, stressed that he’s fine with Gurley skipping team drills if it means he trots out unencumbered for the Rams’ season-opener against the Carolina Panthers, and to a lesser degree, when LA opens training camp.
“We’ve got him on a great plan and he is usually around every single day at this time doing some different things that we had talked abut a while back,” McVay said. “He has been here consistently following the program that we have implemented with him.”
The Rams’ fingers are crossed that Gurley can return to his Pro Bowl form after awarding him an extension prior
to the last season that runs through 2024 and guaranteed him $45 million.
Those hopes were compromised after his arthritic knee restricted him in the final two playoff games and down the stretch in the regular season.
So after the Rams fell to the Patriots in Super Bowl 53, the team’s coaches, brass and medical staff put their heads together
with Gurley. They wanted to decipher a way to lessen his workload (979 touches and 5,136 scrimmage yards the past three seasons) so he didn’t fade during the season’s most critical stretches.
The Rams have been vague about Gurley’s fitness level although LA tipped its hand during the draft when selecting Memphis running back Darrell Henderson in the third round.
also said because
of the length of the Rams’ postseason run, that it factored into Gurley being MIA in the OTAs.
So while his teammates worked — hey, even defensive tackle Aaron Donald is here for the first time in three years — Gurley hasn’t participated in team drills.
“That was the plan we laid out,” McVay said.
Linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. was also absent after missing
his flight to LA. He’s expected to arrive in time for Wednesday’s session.
McVay stressed he’s pleased with how Fowler is communicating with the coaches
about his situation
Has McVay ever had his plane go wheels up without him on it?
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I almost
missed one the other day.”
McVay nearly slept through the boarding call for his flight that was originally delayed. He awoke in time and just maybe he was dreaming of Gurley running the football like his old self.
“We’ve got him on a great plan,” McVay stressed.
And it’s clear it’s one that has Gurley idle until training camp.