The saying is that running backs have a shelf life of five years in the NFL. If that’s the case, then Todd Gurley is approaching his expiration date. However, as defenders have found out, Gurley is not your average RB. Over his career, Gurley has rushed for over 4800 yards and 50+ touchdowns in 4.5 years.
Todd Gurley was considered one of the top running backs while in college at Georgia. During his three years there, Gurley would account for 3285 yards rushing and 36 rushing touchdowns. However, what made Gurley extra special was that he was a dual-threat out of the backfield. Georgia also knew they had a third receiver. Gurley hauled in 65 passes for 615 yards and six touchdowns. He was the truth.
Leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, there were slight rumors of Gurley being a top 5 pick. But the good news for the St. Louis Rams is that teams passed with rumors of Gurley’s knees still causing problems. Jeff Fisher took a gamble with the 10th pick and it has paid out well for the franchise.
In his rookie season, Gurley showed flashes of why he was taken in the top 10. In just 13 games, he rushed for 1106 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Gurley burst onto the scene his rookie season with four straight games over 120 yards rushing. Gurley would tip that century mark five times in his rookie year. The Rams had finally found their replacement for Steven Jackson.
In his second season during the 2016-17 campaign, Gurley’s production took a little decline in terms of rushing yardage but he proved to be a timely receiver. That season, he rushed for only 886 yards but he also caught 43 passes for 347 yards. There were whispers that he hit a sophomore slump but Gurley was just getting started. Coming into the season with high hopes after an outstanding rookie year, the Rams were expecting an explosion. With five 100+ rushing games under his belt, Gurley failed to hit the century mark in 2016. It was back to the drawing board to fix the issue.
The following year, Gurley got his mojo back on the ground. With 279 attempts, he rushed for 1309 yards and registered 13 touchdowns. Now, he was able to put it all together in one season as he also caught 64 passes for 788 yards. With those accomplishments, Todd Gurley earned his first Pro Bowl nod. Not bad for a player some were ready to throw the towel in on after a slight slump. After not going over 100 yards the previous year, Gurley would finish the season with six. He was officially back.
Now a Pro Bowler, Gurley wanted to prove he wasn’t a one-year fluke. He hit the 2018 season with a vengeance and a chip on his shoulder and finished the campaign with 1251 yards and 17 touchdowns. As a receiver, he didn’t slow down either. Gurley managed to catch 59 passes for 580 yards and four touchdowns and earned another Pro Bowl nod while playing in 14 games. Gurley added another six 100+ yard game to his belt including a 208-yard game against the Denver Broncos.
Todd Gurley is a football player, not just a running back. However, during the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl run last season, Gurley appeared to not be the same. Something was bothering him and it just so happened, that the knee issue came at the wrong time. During the playoffs, Gurley was not able to produce the way he was used to and the Rams were forced to use another back (CJ Anderson).
With that injury, the whispers began again. Should the Los Angeles Rams look at do a two-back set and limit his touches or do they continue to use their workhorse as they normally did? Throughout his first four seasons, Gurley has missed six games. As he enters his fifth season, fans and analysts are wondering if that five-year RB myth is coming true for the Pro Bowl player.