Rams RB Gurley 'felt good,' shrugs off low usage
ATLANTA — Leading up to Super Bowl LIII, Sean McVay said he needed to get running back Todd Gurley involved in the game.
Two weeks after Gurley, the highest-paid running back in NFL history, was limited to five touches and 13 total yards in a victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game, Gurley had 11 touches for 34 total yards in the Super Bowl.
“It’s cool, man,” Gurley said after the game. “It’s a team sport. There’s 11 people on the field. Everyone can’t touch the ball.”
The Rams finished with 260 total yards of offense, including 62 rushing yards. Running back C.J. Anderson, whom the Rams signed in mid-December, rushed for 22 yards in seven carries.
“There was some different situations, you could always look back, certainly that is going to be something I’m sure I’ll say, ‘I wish I could have got him more involved,'” McVay said. “The film is always a good chance to go back and look at it and I know there is a handful of decisions that I’m going to want back for sure.”
Quarterback Jared Goff said he would “love to get [Gurley] the ball,” but added, “That’s not my decision.”
Gurley, who signed a four-year, $60 million contract before the season, was sidelined for the final two games of the regular season because of inflammation in his left knee. He returned in a divisional-round win over the Dallas Cowboys and rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown in 16 carries.
But speculation regarding Gurley’s health grew when he made two uncharacteristic mistakes early in the NFC Championship Game and played a minimal role, then was unable to find a rhythm in the Super Bowl.
After the game Sunday, Gurley said he was “fine,” and added that he had an MRI on his knee following a Week 15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, during which he was sidelined for a series in the second half.
“I felt good,” Gurley said. “Whenever my name is called to get in, I’m ready.”
In the first quarter, Gurley was limited to one touch, a 2-yard carry. He had consecutive carries in the second quarter for a combined eight yards. In the second half, Gurley rushed for a 16-yard gain, then later had a 13-yard run, but it was called back because of a holding penalty.
“The reality is that we didn’t get a lot of plays off in general until you get into some of those known passing situations towards the end,” McVay said. “The holding call was a really tough one for us. We had a good drive going, Todd makes a nice cutback run on a tight zone and that it puts us at first-and-20. Those kinds of plays seem like they continuously presented themselves throughout the night and it never really enabled us to get in a rhythm. That was really tough.”
In 14 regular-season games, Gurley rushed for 1,251 yards and scored a league-best 21 touchdowns.