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Report: Rams expected to lighten Gurley's workload in 2019

Michael Zagaris / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Los Angeles Rams have a plan for star running back Todd Gurley this season, and it likely involves lightening the running back's load.

After averaging 308 touches per campaign during the first four years of his career, Gurley could see considerably fewer in 2019, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

"The days of Todd Gurley just being the straight-up, every-down bell cow are probably over, just based on his knee, his age, the position, the amount of carries he's had," Rapoport said Monday on "NFL Total Access," according to's Jeremy Bergman. "It's probably not going to be like that, which by the way is maybe why the Rams drafted a running back in the third round, someone they really like a lot. This is a team that is clearly ready to spread the ball around."

Los Angeles selected former Memphis running back Darrell Henderson in the third round of April's draft. He's expected to fill the role left by C.J. Anderson, who departed in free agency in the offseason.

"Of course, Gurley's knee, the wear and tear on that knee, the surgically repaired knee, is something that everyone knows has been concerning to the team for some time," Rapoport added. "All they really want is for Gurley to come back when the season begins when it's really time to go to be 100 percent. What they don't want is to have all those questions they had leading up the Super Bowl repeat before Week 1."

Gurley's role in the Rams' offense dwindled during the playoffs as he dealt with arthritis in his knee. Head coach Sean McVay has been adamant the star ball carrier's workload won't be limited to start the 2019 season, saying in April that Gurley will be an offensive "focal point."

The 24-year-old has yet to participate in on-field drills during organized team activities, however, and McVay on Monday preached flexibility in accommodating his top weapon.

"I want him to feel most comfortable," McVay said. "That's the most important thing, what he feels he can most function at, being the all-purpose back he's been and that's where we're at. So he says, 'I'd rather play five, 10 pounds lighter,' and he's going to feel better about that, then that's exactly what we'll do.

"He's earned the right to be able to tell us how he's feeling with the give and take. As long as he's got a why, which I know he does, we're always receptive to those things."

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