Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley’s disappearing act dragged into Super Bowl LIII.
Despite Rams head coach Sean McVay saying for the past two weeks that Gurley was physically ready, despite his four-touch game in the NFC championship game, the Rams simply didn't use him like a workhorse back in their 13-3 loss to the New England Patriots.
Gurley finished the game with 10 carries for 35 yards and one catch for minus-1 yard. He appeared to get in a little groove early in the second half with runs of 16 and 5 yards but only touched the ball six times the rest of the way
On the Rams’ first 16 offensive plays, Gurley had one carry — on their first play from scrimmage. Gurley did get back-to-back carries on the Rams’ fifth possession, gaining 5 and 3 yards. That was it for the first half, in which the Rams gained 57 yards on 22 offensive plays.
C.J. Anderson, who received more carries in each of the two postseason games prior to the Super Bowl, had four carries for 10 yards at halftime and finished with seven for 22 yards, with two catches for 12 yards.
Gurley was outstanding in the Rams’ first 14 regular-season games, rushing 256 times for 1,251 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also caught 59 passes for 580 yards and four scores. But Gurley aggravated a knee injury, one that he initially injured in college, causing him to miss the final two regular-season games before returning for the postseason with three week’s rest.
In the first two playoff games, Gurley was limited to 20 carries — with 16 coming against the Cowboys in the divisional round. Still, the message all week has been that Gurley was all systems go.
"He's feeling good, 100 percent," McVay said in Friday's pool report. "He should be good. But I think really our team, as a whole, is feeling really good just having two weeks since our last game and looking forward to the challenge and competing to the best of our ability."
CBS’ Tracy Wolfson said late in the second quarter that there was “nothing to report” with Gurley’s knee but that he appeared to be favoring his knee.
The Patriots ran the ball 29 times for 156 yards, taking away two Tom Brady kneeldowns to close out the game. Gurley actually was upstaged by another former Georgia back — his one-time backup there — in the Patriots' Sony Michel, who finished 18 carries for 94 yards and the game's only touchdown with seven minutes remaining.
In the final 16-plus minutes of the game, the Patriots gave the ball to Michel to close it out. He carried it nine times for 62 yards in that span.