Gurley: ‘I’m in the Super Bowl’

Road from 4-12 to the Atlanta has been bumpy

Todd Gurley doesn’t understand what all of the fuss is about.

“I’m fine, bro,” said Gurley on Friday, when asked about the health of his left knee.

The Rams are going to need Gurley at peak performance against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The game will also feature the Patriots’ Sony Michel, another former University of Georgia running back.

In the NFC Championship game, Gurley had only five touches and two dropped passes, one that turned into an interception. C.J. Anderson carried most of the rushing load.

"No, I'm good,” Gurley said when asked again about his health. “If there was an issue on my knee, it would be on the injury report. Come on now. I'm at practice. I'm playing."

Gurley did score on a 6-yard touchdown run to start the Rams rally from a 13-0 deficit against the Saints.

“We've been winning,” Gurley said. “I'm going to my first Super Bowl. I'm good."

Gurley had four carries and one catch against the Saints. In the divisional round win against the Cowboys, Gurley rushed 16 times for 115 yards and caught two passes.

“Any time that you have a player like Todd Gurley on your team, I've got to do a better job of getting him involved and getting him into the flow of the game,” said Rams coach Sean McVay, who’s also the team’s play-caller. “That's something that I have to be accountable for."

Gurley has been dealing with inflammation and soreness in his left knee since a Week 15 game against the Eagles. He didn’t play the regular-season finale against the Cardinals.

While playing 14 games, Gurley rushed 256 times for 1,251 yards and led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 59 passes for 580 yards and four touchdowns.

He was named to the All-Pro team for the second straight year.

Rams general manager Les Snead added the free-agent Anderson on Dec. 18 to help with some of the rushing load down the stretch. Anderson, who went to two Super Bowls with the Broncos, has played well and gives the Rams a respectable one-two rushing punch.

“He's going to come into work and be the same guy he always is and work hard,” Rams quarterback Jared Goff said of Gurley. “I expect him to have a big game. He's going to go out there and do everything he normally does. Last week wasn’t his and it happens. It's not the end of the world. I think he knows that and approaches it like a pro."

Gurley has embraced Anderson, who was out of football after being cut by the Panthers and Raiders last season.

“We're in the room all day together,” Gurley said. “That's my teammate. That's my boy. We help each other out.”

There was one season overlap of Gurley and Michel at Georgia in 2014. That was Gurley’s last season in Athens that started with a four-game suspension and ended with a knee surgery. Michel, a true freshman in 2014, played in eight games and made one start.

"Oh, that's my little bro,” Gurley said of Michel. “I taught him everything. So, everything he's doing, I taught him that (laughs). Obviously, he had a little talent, but we've got a good relationship. Like I said, I kind of taught him the ropes and he just took off from there (laughs)."

>LISTEN: The Bow Tie Chronicles podcast: Rams GM Les Snead was nervous that the Falcons would pick Gurley in the 2015 draft. 

Gurley, who’s in his fifth season and is the highest-paid running back in the NFL. He signed a four-year, $57 million deal that included $45 million in guaranteed money on July 26, 2018.

After being selected 10th overall in the 2015 draft, Gurley started out his pro career on lowly Rams teams.

Upon the arrival of McVay, the Rams have surged over the past two years and are now legitimate title contenders.

Gurley seemed to sense that Rams need his production, but he went on the defensive regarding the topic.

“I don't give a damn what I do, honestly,” Gurley insisted. “I just want to win, so I don't really care. But, you always want to do good, but you just want to win.

“I've just got one more game. I'm in the 'A' (Atlanta), going back to Georgia, super excited. You just want to win."

Gurley is no stranger to the Super Bowl.

“I'm used to going to the Super Bowl, being with my boys, hanging out,” Gurley said. “But, we actually get a chance to play in it this year. So, it's cool, man. It's a great feeling.”

Gurley went to Minneapolis last season and was in Houston to support former Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell with the Patriots against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

“Just being at those games, man, it's crazy,” Gurley said. “It’s like you get the chills. You're mad, but you're so excited for your friends.”

Gurley said his friends are calling him this year, telling him that they’ll be in Atlanta to support him.

“It's a good feeling when you can just enjoy this with your family, your teammates, your friends,” Gurley said. “It's a dream. They got to live their dream and now I'm doing the exact same thing they (were) doing.”

The health of his left knee notwithstanding, Gurley plans on having a good time on this Super Bowl trip.

“I've been 4-12, you know what I'm saying?,” Gurley said. “Like, I've been broke. I got money (laughs). I've … had terrible seasons. I'm in the Super Bowl. It's a blessing. It's a blessing from God.”

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