The St. Louis Rams spent the 10th overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft on Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who tore his ACL last season. He’s continued to rehab that knee, but Gurley is starting to get impatient.
According to Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today, Gurley is tired of taking half-speed reps and wants to participate in full-contact practice with his teammates.
“I just need reps. Practicing, that will help me out a lot to get you ready for a game.”
Gurley’s frustration is completely understandable, especially if his knee has healed to the point where he can run. With that being said, the franchise’s perhaps-excessive caution is justified, too.
Jones notes Rams coach Jeff Fisher is thinking about Gurley on a long-term plan, not simply for the end of the 2015 campaign. Fisher wants to make sure Gurley—who isn’t expected to play during the preseason—doesn’t put the rest of his career in jeopardy by hurrying back too quickly.
“Of course he’s going to be frustrated here for the next six or eight or 10 weeks, but big picture-wise, I’m talking about eight or 10 years. He’ll look back and go, ‘Oh you did it right.'”
Although Gurley possesses the talent to develop into one of the NFL’s most dangerous backs, Fisher and Co. are making the right decision to slowly increase the Georgia product’s workload. Tre Mason is a capable replacement, especially in a short-term situation.
Gurley can thrive in St. Louis, but pushing the limits of his rehab isn’t worth the long-term risk.