The trainer for Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley confirmed the three-time Pro Bowler has an "arthritic component to his knee," confirming fears Gurley was dealing with a lingering knee issue.
Travelle Gaines explained the situation to CBS Sports' Dave Richard:
"Everybody knew when Todd came out of Georgia that there would be some kind of arthritic component to his knee, which is part of every surgery whether it's a shoulder, a knee, an ankle. He's now at the year-five mark, all we're doing is managing that. If we can pound him less in the offseason while keeping his weight down, working on his strength, working on his agility in short areas, that's going to give him a better chance to be healthy Weeks 14 through 17 when they really count."
Gurley's health became a storyline when he had 14 combined carries in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIII. In February, Rams head coach Sean McVay seemed to downplay the idea of Gurley being hurt and instead shouldered the blame for his usage, particularly in Los Angeles' 13-3 Super Bowl defeat to the New England Patriots.
However, The Athletic's Jeff Howe reported in March that Gurley had arthritis in his left knee. He underwent ACL surgery on that same knee in 2014, his final season with Georgia, before he moved on to the NFL.
Gaines told Richard he doesn't plan to significantly alter Gurley's offseason training regimen.
"Not one thing has changed," he said. "Our routine has worked, he's been strong, he's been in great shape, he's done well."
Gaines added he hasn't heard from Rams representatives about potentially reducing Gurley's workload after the team selected Darrell Henderson in the third round of the 2019 draft. Gaines described Henderson as "a home-run type guy" who could fit into the team's regular running back rotation.
Gurley was excellent in 2018, running for 1,251 yards and 17 touchdowns while catching 59 passes for 580 yards and four touchdowns. He was a first-team All-Pro for the second straight season.
The long-term concerns over Gurley's health are obvious. He's a huge part of the Rams offense and accounts for a large portion of the team's salary cap after he signed a four-year extension worth up to $60 million last July.
Rumors regarding Gurley's knee have lingered throughout the offseason, so Gaines' comments don't move the needle too much. The Rams are presumably well-aware of the situation.
But having Gurley's trainer confirm his condition won't soothe fans who are concerned he could decline far more quickly than a typical elite running back.