sunny.png
Sunday January 17th, 2021 10:20AM

Gurley ready to prove he's 100 percent healthy for Falcons

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons went all season without a 100-yard rusher in the backfield last year, so when Todd Gurley became available as a free agent, they were eager to sign him.

Gurley has a history of knee problems and was cut by the Los Angeles Rams just two years removed from consecutive seasons as an All-Pro running back. The Falcons waited a couple of weeks during the early days of quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic to sign Gurley to a $6 million, one-year deal, hoping he can spark a rushing attack that finished third-worst in the NFL last season.

Gurley, who ran for a career-low 857 yards, was quick to point out he did not have a 100-yard game either. But he said his knees feel close to 100% and that he is ready to go. The Falcons open the season Sunday at home against the Seattle Seahawks.

“I didn’t have 100 yards last year either,” he said. “I don’t know why they got me, huh? But I feel good, man. Week 1, playing against Seattle, a team I’m super-familiar with. Been able to play against those guys nine times. I feel good.”

Gurley, the 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year, has a league-best 58 touchdown runs since entering 2015. His 5,404 yards rushing during that span are topped only by Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott, but last season he had just 3.8 yards per carry, the second-lowest average of his career.

That didn’t faze Falcons star receiver Julio Jones. He was instrumental in Atlanta signing Gurley, traveling with Arizona wideout DeAndre Hopkins to visit with Gurley after he was released. They went on long hikes together in California, and Gurley began to warm to the idea of returning to the South, where the North Carolina native starred at Georgia and became one of four Bulldogs to rush for 3,000 yards in his career.

“I mean it played a big role to be able to get comfortable with someone I’ll be teammates with,” Gurley said. “For him and DeAndre to come visit me soon as I got cut, that just kind of shows what the league is all about. It’s definitely a band of brothers, whether you’re on the same team or not. It’s just definitely a good feeling.”

Jones has been impressed with what he’s seen of his new teammate thus far.

“Just knowing him as a person and things like that, because at the end of the day, it’s all about bringing each other together, finding a common goal and purpose,” Jones said. “We share the same things. I got you and you got me. He’s going to do his thing in the running game and I’m going to do my thing in the passing game. For him to his thing in the running game, I’ve got to go out there and block. For me to do my thing in the passing game, he’s got to sit in there and take care of protection.”

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan sensed that Gurley lit up when the team held a scrimmage at Mercedes-Benz Stadium earlier this month.

“There’s just an energy level that you feel from him when it’s time to go,” Ryan said. “The great players that I’ve been around in my career have that ability to do it. You see it. You feel it. He gives off that kind of vibe when you’re around him. Certainly, that felt like the case in our scrimmages when we were down at the stadium. You could feel his intensity.

“It’s hard to describe, but you know it when you’re around it. I’ve been around some great players to know what that looks like, and he certainly has that.”

Gurley’s workload in training camp was monitored closely by coach Dan Quinn, who gave the running back several days off to keep his knees fresh.

“I’ve had a great plan like I’ve always had over the last couple of years to have some off days here, but also to get practice in,” Gurley said. “Feeling good. Hey, man, last year is last year. It’s a new team. I’m just happy to be a part of the brotherhood and see what I can bring to the team.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Gurley ready to prove he's 100 percent healthy for Falcons
Falcons running back Todd Gurley believes he and his new team are a perfect match as he seeks to rejuvenate a career affected by knee injuries
1:14PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Central European leaders discuss Belarus, fighting COVID-19
The prime ministers of four central European countries say a new election should be held in Belarus to allow the country’s voters to decide the course of its future
1:13PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Bahrain to recognize Israel as UAE deal set to be signed
Bahrain is the latest Arab nation to agree to normalize ties with Israel as part of a broader diplomatic push by President Donald Trump and his administration to fully integrate the Jewish state into the Middle East
1:02PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Men's singles semis, women's doubles at US Open
The men’s semifinal matches will be played after the women’s doubles championship is awarded at the U.S. Open
12:33PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Swiss court puts Qatari on trial in soccer case next week
A criminal trial opens Monday in the Swiss investigation of FIFA and international soccer officials
12:31PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Roglic imperial on Tour de France Stage 13 won by Martinez
The slow-burning fight for the Tour de France’s yellow jersey has erupted in earnest on the slopes of a once-giant volcano, where race leader Primoz Roglic used the punishing slopes to grow his overall lead
11:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Indian cases spike, retesting ordered for some
India edged closer to recording nearly 100,000 coronavirus cases in a day as it ordered retesting for many people whose first results were from a less reliable testing method in wide use
2:42AM ( 10 hours ago )
Chiefs begin title defense with 34-20 victory over Texans
Patrick Mahomes threw for 211 yards and three touchdowns, Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran through the rain for 138 yards and another score, and the Kansas City Chiefs began defense of their first championship in 50 years by beating the Houston Texans 34-20 on Thursday night
12:12AM ( 13 hours ago )
Chiefs nix headdresses, war paint to start NFL season
Kansas City Chiefs fans who filed into Arrowhead Stadium for a masked and socially distanced start to the NFL season were prohibited from wearing headdresses or war paint
10:59PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Images of 9/11 attack, porn interrupt voting machine hearing
A federal court hearing on a challenge to Georgia’s voting machines was interrupted Friday when someone began posting video and symbols in the live Zoom session, including a swastika, images from the Sept. 11 attacks and porn
11:30AM ( 1 hour ago )
Black woman's party death gets renewed scrutiny in Georgia
The 2018 death of a Black woman during an adult sleepover party in northern Georgia is getting renewed attention since authorities launched a new investigation
11:05PM ( 14 hours ago )
Power trio: Freeman, Swanson, Acuña rally Braves past Nats
Freddie Freeman homered twice, Dansby Swanson hit a go-ahead shot in the eighth inning and the Atlanta Braves rallied from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Washington Nationals 7-6
11:04PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
The Latest: Chiefs line up to support social justice causes
The Kansas City Chiefs lined up along the goal line about 30 minutes before kickoff Thursday night in a show of solidarity for social justice initiatives while a video played on the screens in each end zone of Arrowhead Stadium
8:06PM ( 17 hours ago )
Diggs, Adams a formidable duo at back of Seahawks defense
The dream of playing together for the same team will finally come true for Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs when they line up for the Seahawks on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons
7:49PM ( 17 hours ago )
The Latest: Chiefs required to keep fan health data
The Kansas City Chiefs will be required to keep a record of fans in suites and whoever purchased blocks of tickets in the stands for their game Thursday night so that contact tracing can be done in the event of an outbreak
7:34PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Central European leaders discuss Belarus, fighting COVID-19
The prime ministers of four central European countries say a new election should be held in Belarus to allow the country’s voters to decide the course of its future
1:13PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Bahrain to recognize Israel as UAE deal set to be signed
Bahrain is the latest Arab nation to agree to normalize ties with Israel as part of a broader diplomatic push by President Donald Trump and his administration to fully integrate the Jewish state into the Middle East
1:02PM ( 15 minutes ago )
'Evacuate Now:' Oregon wildfires grow as 500K told to flee
Deadly wildfires in heavily populated northwest Oregon are growing and hundreds of thousands of people have been told to flee encroaching flames
12:43PM ( 35 minutes ago )
The Latest: Men's singles semis, women's doubles at US Open
The men’s semifinal matches will be played after the women’s doubles championship is awarded at the U.S. Open
12:33PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Swiss court puts Qatari on trial in soccer case next week
A criminal trial opens Monday in the Swiss investigation of FIFA and international soccer officials
12:31PM ( 47 minutes ago )