Los Angeles Rams running back C.J. Anderson appeared on FS1's Undisputed on Tuesday and revealed that from the time he signed with the team in December, Todd Gurley was more injured than had been publicly revealed.
"He was more hurt than what we thought," Anderson said (h/t Sean Wagner-McGough of CBSSports.com). "The injury was a little bit more than what everybody in the building thought, including himself."
Anderson noted that Gurley never let on the full extent, or nature, of the injury:
"He'd never really tell me. It was tough. I would say sprained knee. Obviously, it's the same knee injury he's had before in his career. Obviously, I had surgery on my meniscus and once you have a knee, you always have a knee. So it aggravates. If he was getting a lot of touches earlier in the year—obviously, him being one of the best running backs that probably was the case."
Gurley's knee ailments could potentially explain his bizarre usage in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl 53. After missing the final two games of the regular season, Gurley was excellent in the divisional round, rushing 16 times for 115 yards and a touchdown.
But he virtually disappeared against the New Orleans Saints, with only five touches for 13 yards and a score. And things didn't get much better in the Super Bowl, where he was given 11 touches for 34 yards.
Yes, both the Saints and New England Patriots game-planned against the run and largely mitigated that part of Los Angeles' offense. But the fact that Gurley—who caught 59 passes for 580 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season—also wasn't much of a factor in the passing game was bizarre.
Anderson, meanwhile, played well for the Rams, running for 299 yards and two touchdowns in the final two games of the regular season before adding 189 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the postseason.
The 28-year-old was a pleasant surprise, and it wouldn't be surprising if Los Angeles brought the Cal product, who rushed for 1,000 yards in 2017, back. But more importantly, the Rams need a healthy Gurley in 2019 if they're going to remain one of the league's top contenders.