One of the Rams’ highest-paid players was conspicuously missing from his team’s game plan in Super Bowl LIII. Running back Todd Gurley carried just 10 times for 35 yards and lost a yard on his only reception.
Gurley’s absence from the game plan was especially noticeable in the first half, when he was on the field for just six snaps, rushing three times for 10 yards. Los Angeles opened the third quarter with three Gurley runs on its first four plays, but soon turned back to the passing game and backup C.J. Anderson, who was signed in December. Anderson finished with 22 yards on seven carries, and two catches for 12 yards, equaling Gurley’s total yardage.
Gurley missed Los Angeles’s last two games of the regular season with knee inflammation, but Coach Sean McVay said during the week that Gurley was “feeling good” and expected to “play a big role” in the Rams’ game plan.
Gurley said after the game that his knee was fine. Asked whether he was healthy, Gurley answered in the affirmative.
“Yeah,” he said. “Yeah. Yes sir.”
CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson said on the game’s broadcast that the Rams had “nothing to report” about Gurley’s status. With the nature of his injury, she said, “He could just wake up in the morning and it just doesn’t feel good.” But later in the broadcast she indicated that health was not believed to be a factor.
The Rams were 10-0 this season when Gurley, who was considered an MVP candidate for most of the season, rushed 15 times or more. He ran for 1,251 yards and 17 touchdowns in 14 regular-season games.
But fans watching the game speculated on Twitter about what could be holding Gurley out of the game. Others poked fun at the Rams’ apparent decision to split the workload with the less dynamic Anderson.
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