The Pro Bowl version of Todd Gurley II has started to return, and Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay had a notable reason for it.
"Me not being an idiot," he said Wednesday when describing why Gurley is getting the ball more of late, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com.
Gurley ran for 95 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in Sunday's win over the Arizona Cardinals after accumulating 97 yards on 25 carries against the Chicago Bears in Week 11. He finished with at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each of those contests.
Gurley's health entering the season was a primary focal point, especially after he had just four carries in the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints and 10 carries in the Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.
However, McVay denied the Georgia product was on a load-management program early in the year and pointed instead to the Week 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers as the moment he realized his two-time All-Pro running back needed to be more involved.
"The Steelers game stands out in terms of where we were running the football well, and you didn't really give him a chance to get back going based on how that thing played out," McVay said. "You always try to learn from your previous experiences."
Thiry explained Gurley was averaging 6.1 yards per carry but was on the sidelines in the fourth quarter. When he returned, the Steelers were in control.
While Gurley has split carries this year with Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson Jr., it is crunch time for the defending NFC champions.
Los Angeles is 7-5 and one game behind the Minnesota Vikings for the final spot in the NFC wild-card race. Its next three games are against the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers, all of whom would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.
The Rams will need Gurley at his best if they are going to reach the postseason, and McVay's comments suggest he will continue getting the ball down the stretch.