Los Angeles Rams

Rams want to lighten Todd Gurley’s workload

The Rams still want Todd Gurley to be a centerpiece of their offense in 2019, but they want to keep him fresh by lessening his regular season workload.

Sean McVay learned a lot of lessons during the Rams’ run to the Super Bowl this season, but the most important takeaway might be how the team used Todd Gurley. Look for Los Angeles to be much more judicious with his carries during the 2019 regular season.

The innovative Rams head coach told reporters that the organization is still trying to figure out whether or not they can form a “Batman and Robin” combination in the backfield next season. C.J. Anderson gave his team a big boost down the stretch last season, but he’s not a long-term solution for McVay’s attack.

It’s a little surprising that a coach as progressive as McVay is in every other facet of the game took so long to reach this conclusion. Gurley is a dynamic weapon on offense, but there aren’t many players in the NFL who can stand up to a workload of 256 carries and 59 receptions during the regular season. Finding a running back to lighten his load next season should clearly be on the team’s to do list this offseason.

It’s still an open question how big a priority it will be for the Rams front office. It’s very possible the team could choose to sift through the list of available free agents to fill the void. McVay and company aren’t going to bring in a high-priced player like Le’Veon Bell, but adding a young veteran like Alex Collins could pay big dividends. Los Angeles may need to wait quite a while before finding a veteran running back willing to accept their available salary and playing time.

The more likely scenario is that Los Angeles will look to find Gurley’s long-term partner through the draft. They won’t spend a high pick on filling that void, but teams have proven time and time again that excellent value can be found at the running back position in the later rounds. Drafting a running back on day three could give the Rams a solid handcuff for Gurley at a great salary for years to come.

Next: Rams are ready to cut Rodger Saffold loose

No matter what, don’t look for Gurley to go over the 250 carry mark again in 2019. That’s a number he might not hit again in his entire career. The Rams will hope that less is more when it comes to their franchise running back.

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