The next time Todd Gurley sees the playing field, it will be Week 1 of the regular season.
Gurley has yet to play in the preseason and will sit out again when the Los Angeles Rams face the visiting Houston Texans on Saturday afternoon
Rams coach Sean McVay said Thursday that Gurley may not be the only one of the team’s elite offensive players to miss Saturday’s game. McVay still is unsure if starting quarterback Jared Goff will see any action.
“We’ll find out. There’s a lot of things going into it,” said McVay, per the team’s official website. “So, like we talked about these guys up front, that has an effect on what we end up doing. So, to say that we’ve decided that yet wouldn’t be true.”
The concerns over McVay have to do with the health of Los Angeles’ offensive line. Tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan have been ruled out of Saturday’s game, and tackle Rob Havenstein is dealing with a “tweak” in his ankle.
Gurley, who signed a four-year contract extension worth an estimated $60 million in the offseason, is not shedding any tears over playing the role of spectator.
“That is everyone’s dream — to not play in the preseason,” said Gurley. “No, I mean some guys are different. Obviously, at the end of the day, it’s always going to be different between playing in the preseason and playing in the regular season. I’m kind of happy not to be playing in it, but it’s definitely good for some guys as well, too. Some guys just like being out there to get a feel for it and to see, but not this guy.”
Gurley is coming off a magnificent season in which he led Los Angeles to the NFC West title and won the AP Offensive Player of the Year award.
The NFL leader in touchdowns (19) and scrimmage yards (2,093) in 2017, Gurley also finished second in rushing yards (1,305), so McVay knows it’s vital to keep his franchise back healthy.
“Well, we’ve done a little bit different approach in terms of working him out just with some things going on just in his lower half. Just getting him up to speed in the way that we’ve kind of felt like to get him at his best for September 10,” said McVay. “There’s nothing like truly playing football. I totally agree and understand that, but that was kind of what we felt like — all things being considered — was going to be the best approach with him.”
Goff, like Gurley, did not express any reservations of a lack of playing time in the preseason.
“No, we’ve gotten plenty of work and feel good,” said Goff. “Again, I’m planning to play but if something were to come up where it doesn’t happen, then that’s what they decide to do.”