Gurley said in regard to Arthur Smith becoming the Falcons' new head coach, "You get excited about a coach that runs the ball, which you know doesn't happen very often," Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: The two-time All-Pro is planning to get in touch with both Smith and new general manager Terry Fontenot to learn more about a potential future with the organization. Gurley is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March after accumulating 842 scrimmage yards and nine rushing scores during his 2020 debut season in Atlanta. His involvement waned down the stretch, as Gurley was held to single-digit carries in six consecutive games to wrap up the season. The 26-year-old averaged 2.6 yards per carry Weeks 6 through 17, as Ito Smith overtook him for the No. 1 running back role in December.
Feb 3, 2021 3:26 PM EST
Gurley ran for 18 yards on nine attempts while securing his only target for a 17-yard gain during Sunday's 44-27 loss to Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Gurley and Brian Hill split carries atop the Falcons' backfield at an even 9:9 ratio. However, Hill was far more explosive with his opportunities on the ground in generating 94 yards, albeit, largely because of a 62-yard run in the fourth quarter. Gurley's debut campaign in Atlanta did not go according to plan, as he labored to 3.5 yards per carry over 195 attempts while seeing himself get overtaken by Ito Smith (ribs) for lead RB carries down the stretch. The man largely responsible for acquiring Gurley, Thomas Dimitroff, was fired as Falcons general manager Oct. 11. The 26-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end alongside backfield mate Brian Hill, but Smith remains under contract with Atlanta for one more season.
Jan 4, 2021 5:39 AM EST
Gurley registered 16 yards on four carries while securing all three of his targets for 34 yards during Sunday's 17-14 loss to the Chiefs.
Analysis: Gurley made a 26-yard reception down the right sideline on Atlanta's opening play from scrimmage, but the drive stalled three plays later to result in a punt. That gain alone contributed more than half of Gurley's Week 16 yardage production, as Ito Smith and Brian Hill combined for 17 carries atop the Atlanta backfield. A 3.5 yards-per-carry average with minimal upside in the passing game from Gurley has led the Falcons to look elsewhere for running back contributions down the stretch. Week 17 offers a matchup against the Buccaneers, an opponent against which Gurley virtually disappeared last Sunday when he totaled minus-one yard on his lone carry.
Dec 27, 2020 5:09 PM EST
Interim coach Raheem Morris said Monday that Gurley's role has changed and Ito Smith has usurped him as the Falcons' lead runner, Kelsey Conway of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: Gurley only had three touches during Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay, and he's been outpaced by Smith in terms of carries 25-15 since Week 13, so even without Morris' admission it was clear that Gurley has fallen out of favor in Atlanta's offense. The three-time Pro Bowler is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry through 13 games, putting him on pace to log a second straight season below the 4.0 mark. Meanwhile, Smith is up to 4.3 YPC on the year, and he's been the definitively better option on the ground in recent weeks. As D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Morris named Smith's performance as the reason for the role swap, rather than any sort of injury on Gurley's part.
Dec 21, 2020 12:26 PM EST
Gurley lost a yard on his lone carry, adding two catches for 15 yards during Sunday's 31-27 loss to Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Gurley made an impressive one-handed grab to help Atlanta move the chains on a 3rd-and-9 during the game's opening drive, but a key missed block in pass protection led to a decrease in involvement down the stretch. It's hard to believe Gurley would have enjoyed much success on the ground, anyway, in a matchup against Tampa Bay's top-ranked rush defense. The three-time Pro Bowler has averaged just 2.7 yards per carry since Week 6. Ito Smith has equaled or exceeded Gurley's rush attempts total over each of the Falcons' past three games.
Dec 20, 2020 2:19 PM EST
Gurley collected 19 yards on six carries, adding two catches for 12 yards during Sunday's 20-17 loss to the Chargers.
Analysis: Gurley's involvement all but dissolved in the second half, as he received one offensive touch between the third and fourth quarters combined. Ito Smith, meanwhile, fielded nine touches over the second half of play Sunday. The 2017 NFL Offensive Player of the Year has scored four touchdowns since Week 6, but he's been incredibly inefficient as a rusher during that span, managing just 2.7 yards per carry over 102 attempts. Atlanta's upcoming matchup against Tampa Bay's top-ranked rush defense provides a formidable opponent for both Gurley and Smith in Week 15.
Dec 13, 2020 7:08 PM EST
Gurley (knee) doesn't have a designation on the final injury report for Sunday's game against the Chargers, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: Gurley was held out of practice Friday, but it appears that was just for maintenance. Coach Raheem Morris said he expects the running back to return to his normal role this Sunday, following an absence in Week 12 and season-low 33 percent snap share in Week 13. Gurley took 14 or more carries in each of Atlanta's first nine games this year, scoring nine TDs despite averaging only 3.7 YPC.
Dec 11, 2020 10:02 AM EST
Coach Raheem Morris said Gurley (knee) "feels a lot more healthy this week" and should work in his normal role Sunday against the Chargers
Analysis: The 26-year-old had eight carries and played 33 percent of the offensive snaps Week 13 while managing the knee injury, but he's expected to put in his usual workload this weekend. Gurley was a limited participant at the first two practices of the week, and he could avoid an injury designation for Sunday if he's able to put in a full practice Friday.
Dec 11, 2020 7:44 AM EST
Gurley (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: For a second consecutive day, the Falcons have placed a cap on Gurley's reps as he continues to tend to a knee injury. After logging a 33-percent share of the offensive snaps this past Sunday against the Saints, he's expected to have a "bigger role" moving forward, as interim coach Raheem Morris relayed to Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday. Friday's injury report may give a hint whether Gurley is fully ready to take on a lead role out of the Falcons backfield.
Dec 10, 2020 1:23 PM EST
Gurley (knee) practiced in a limited capacity Wednesday, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: On the heels of a one-game absence, Gurley split work with Brian Hill and Ito Smith (neck) this past Sunday versus the Saints, turning his nine touches into 22 yards from scrimmage of a 33-percent offensive snap share. Both Gurley and Smith were limited with respective health concerns Wednesday, but because interim coach Raheem Morris said Monday that Gurley will have a "bigger role" moving forward, he likely is taking it easy with his knee this week. The next two days of practice may be telling for the breakdown of backfield work Sunday against the Chargers.
Dec 9, 2020 1:39 PM EST
Coach Raheem Morris said Monday that he expects Gurley to have a larger role during Sunday's road game against the Chargers, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Analysis: Morris said that Gurley handled a "situational" role as a runner and pass protector during last weekend's 21-16 loss to the Saints, in which he and Ito Smith each logged eight carries. Gurley was listed as 'questionable' due to a knee injury heading into the divisional loss, so if he's able to get closer to full health during practice this week it would make sense for his carry tally to increase. A matchup against Los Angeles' second-worst run defense could provide Gurley with exactly the kind of bounceback opportunity he needs.
Dec 7, 2020 12:21 PM EST
Gurley registered 16 yards on eight carries, hauling in his lone target for four yards during Sunday's 21-16 loss to the Saints.
Analysis: Gurley and Ito Smith split the RB carries 8-8 on the afternoon, with the veteran shouldering 100 percent of the workload after Smith went down at the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter due to a head injury. The two-time All-Pro struggled to find open lanes against the Saints' No. 2 rush defense, while game script worked against him with Atlanta trailing by two possessions for much of the second half. A Week 14 matchup against the Chargers provides the opportunity for a bounceback, with Los Angeles ranking second worst in the NFL at 5.0 yards allowed per carry to opposing backs.
Dec 6, 2020 4:25 PM EST
Gurley (knee) is active for Sunday's game against the Saints, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: Gurley didn't practice at all before he was ruled out for a Week 12 matchup with the Raiders. This week, though, he managed limited showings Wednesday and Friday, setting him up for a return to action. After a one-game respite, Gurley will take on a New Orleans defense that has been stingy versus running backs, allowing just 3.5 yards per carry (third best in the NFL) and the fewest touchdowns (five) to the position this season.
Dec 6, 2020 8:33 AM EST
Gurley (knee), who is listed as questionable, is expected to play Sunday against New Orleans, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: The 26-year-old suffered the knee injury Week 11 against the Saints and was unable to play during last week's win over the Raiders, but he should be back in action Sunday. There's been no indication if the team plans to give full Gurley a full workload or ease him back from the injury, but he should at least receive the start. Brian Hill and Ito Smith split playing time in his absence and figure to do so again should Gurley aggravate the injury.
Dec 5, 2020 9:06 PM EST
The Falcons list Gurley (knee) as questionable for Sunday's game against the Saints, Tori McElhaney of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: After sitting out last week's blowout win over the Raiders with the knee issue, Gurley practicing in a limited fashion Wednesday to begin Week 13 before downgrading to no activity Thursday. The fact that he's not being listed as doubtful or out for Sunday suggests Gurley was able to get back on the field in some fashion Friday, but the running back still isn't out of the woods yet. If Gurley ultimately gains clearance for the Week 13 matchup, he would likely start, but he could notice a role reduction if the Falcons prefer to ease him back in from the injury. After Gurley, Brian Hill and Ito Smith are next up for snaps and touches out of the Atlanta backfield.
Dec 4, 2020 12:32 PM EST
Gurley (knee) didn't practice Thursday, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: As McFadden noted, Gurley typically has been given one day off per week this season. However, Gurley didn't practice at all last week before his first absence of the season and now has downgraded from a limited session Wednesday to no activity one day later. His listing on Friday's injury report will be telling for his status for Sunday's game against the Saints.
Dec 3, 2020 1:20 PM EST
Gurley (knee) will work in a limited fashion at practice Wednesday, William McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: Interim coach Raheem Morris indicated that the Falcons will take things "day by day" with Gurley this week, but at this stage it looks like there's some chance that the running back could return to action Sunday against the Saints. If he doesn't, however, Brian Hill and Ito Smith would once again be in line to handle the team's rushing duties in Week 13.
Dec 2, 2020 8:38 AM EST
Gurley (knee) will not play in Sunday's game against the Raiders, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: The Falcons haven't provided details on Gurley's knee injury, but we do know they held him out of practice all week. Brian Hill figures to take over the lead backfield role Sunday, with Qadree Ollison and Ito Smith providing depth.
Nov 27, 2020 1:07 PM EST
Gurley (knee) isn't practicing Friday, D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Analysis: A third straight absence suggests Gurley is in serious danger of missing Sunday's game against the Raiders. We should have another update Friday afternoon when the Falcons release their final injury report.
Nov 27, 2020 11:20 AM EST
Gurley (knee) was listed as a non-participant on Thursday's estimated practice report, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.
Analysis: Gurley has yet to log any practice reps this week as he tends to a knee concern. There's been no indication that the injury is threatening his ability to play Sunday against the Raiders. Having said that, Gurley's status could be clarified when the Falcons release their final Week 12 injury report Friday.
Nov 26, 2020 10:12 AM EST
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