The Todd Gurley Mystery Remains Unsolved

This is the day we all expected the Rams to make sense of it all. Maybe Todd Gurley was hurt and they’d announce a surgery. Maybe there was some nebulous personal or administrative issue that would come to light and explain the tail end of his playoff box score: two games, 14 carries, 45 yards. Instead, according to reporters on the scene on Tuesday, Gurley opted out of a media session and head coach Sean McVay continued to heap the issues on his own shoulders.

"We just didn't get a lot of attempts off," McVay said, via ESPN.com. "So that really ended up being a big result of what ended up happening where neither Todd nor C.J. [Anderson] got involved."

And about his health?

"As far as I'm concerned and as far as I know, that isn't the case where we're planning to do anything like that," McVay said, when asked about any plans for a corrective procedure in the near future.

Until the revelatory-yet-scripted prime-time interview surfaces, we’re left wondering why the highest-paid running back in NFL history, who so perfectly unlocked this offense all (regular) season long and never once recorded fewer than 10 carries when he was in the lineup, was a total non-factor in the biggest game of the season.

The snaps he did play last Sunday provide little in the way of clues. In the fourth quarter, it was interesting that Jared Goff didn’t even look Gurley's way on a second-and-9 with 5:29 to play. Gurley got a free release out of the backfield and had just one Patriots defender—Devin McCourty—tracking him in soft coverage (Goff instead knuckled an incomplete pass to Robert Woods). On the drive prior, Gurley made a signature cutback to swerve off a block and surge ahead for a gain of 13 (it was called back on an offensive hold). He looked fine, and alternately not fine.

Running parallel to that fact? The Patriots defense basically sold out to stop the run and remove the backfield chess games that made the Rams' play-action offense so effective.

The bigger question that may be haunting Rams fans in the coming days and weeks then becomes: What would be scarier, that Gurley is fine, but not dynamic enough to blow up a run-stopping front on his own; that Gurley is injured and the Rams hid it, hoping that they would still produce enough offense in the Super Bowl with their star as a bandaged up decoy; or that McVay is being honest and that he simply did not recognize what the opposing team was doing to him?

Not getting this newsletter in your inbox yet? Sign up for The MMQB’s Morning Huddle.

HOT READS

NOW ON THE MMQB: Andy Benoit on Bill Belichick’s master plan….. “Disneyland or Disneyworld?” Jenny Vrentas with the champs….. Jacob Feldman analyzes Tony Romo’s first Super Bowl performance.... and more.

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: Breaking down the blown Brandin Cooks touchdown….. As Brian Flores is introduced, the only profile you need to read about the new Dolphins coach…. How to think about the Patriots’ latest title.... and more.

PRESS COVERAGE

1. The contractual minutiae has been completed. Nick Foles is either being franchised (and traded) or hitting the open market.

2. Stalwart tight end Greg Olsen is coming back for 2019.

3. The local press seems to like Zac Taylor in Cincinnati so far. Here’s why: He’s not Marvin Lewis.

4. Will another stark culture change in Miami finally take hold?

5. This refrigerator company hopes to help you find love based on what kind of food you have stored inside. (Side note: Destroy all technology and move off the grid.)

THE KICKER

Welcome to the 2019 offseason. Time for some serious Radio Gaga.

Question? Comment? Story idea? Let the team know at talkback@themmqb.com

Outbrain

More from NFL