Sean McVay praised Todd Gurley for helping the Los Angeles Rams close out their win over the Carolina Panthers, but still intends to split carries between his running backs on a game-by-game basis.
Gurley’s health was a huge talking point in the NFL offseason after he was such a non-factor in last season’s Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots, managing 35 yards on just 10 carries.
Head coach McVay said before Week 1 that the running back would not be limited, despite a special training schedule during camp that saw him practice every other day due to concerns over a knee issue.
The former first-round draft pick had a team-high 14 carries for 97 yards in a 30-27 triumph over the Panthers on Sunday, including some pivotal runs in the closing stages to help maintain his team’s slender lead.
However, the Rams had relied on fellow running back Malcolm Brown, who scored two rushing touchdowns, earlier in proceedings, with McVay seemingly happy to go with the hot hand.
“I think each game dictates a different response to that,” he told the media when asked about the possibility of a committee approach to the Rams’ running game. “Today, that was the case for sure.
“I thought he [Gurley] did a great job closing it out, really helped out to get to the second and short and then we were able to finish it out where he gets another good run right there, able to bounce it.
“I thought he had some great runs, he was running through some arm tackles, you could see the explosion once he gets to the second and third level and like anything else, you get yourself into game shape.
“It’s humid out here but he made some big-time runs. Really, our running back group as a whole was outstanding.”
Coming home with the W! pic.twitter.com/9ZHSuRtkEm
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 8, 2019
Quarterback Jared Goff was pleased for Gurley – not least because he happened to start his fellow Ram in fantasy football.
“I’m so proud of him and everything he’s done,” Goff said. “There was a lot of outside noise around him obviously but we felt confident with him inside the team and it showed.
“He looked like he always does, I tried to tell everyone he looks exactly the same, no one wanted to believe me.
“I started him in fantasy this week so he helped me out and I think I had [Rams kicker] Greg [Zuerlein] too, so we had a good day.”