The doors to the Los Angeles Rams locker room swung open, and in strode Todd Gurley, wearing distressed faded jeans and a denim jacket with the word Hollywood painted on the back. He took long, fast strides as he was escorted inside the room where he’d face questions about why, in the biggest game of his life and career, he appeared to disappear.
During the season, Gurley was an unstoppable force who led the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns, earned a first-team All-Pro nod and the Offensive Player of the Year award and turned the Rams into the best team in the NFC. He was the centerpiece of a offense that helped the Rams win their first division title since 2004 and reach their first Super Bowl since 2002, where they were known as “The Greatest Show on Turf.”
But even after winning the NFC Championship, Gurley seemed diminished in a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. He sat through weekly news conferences and gave little insight into his health, his usage or the Rams’ offense. This was fine, as some players don’t enjoy speaking to the media, and it’s certainly understandable if he felt that way.
But some within the Rams organization and around the league wondered if the heavy workload was wearing on Gurley’s surgically repaired left knee. It’s no secret that injuries can wreak havoc on an NFL career, and many people thought the heavy load was too much for Gurley.