The Detroit Lions are currently on Day 3 of their Organized Team Activities (OTAs) but they are still looking for ways to upgrade their roster. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Lions are hosting running back Todd Gurley for a try-out today.
Gurley was selected 10th overall by the Los Angles Rams of the 2015 NFL draft, during which time Lions general manager Brad Holmes was their college scouting director. Gurley took the league by storm, winning offensive rookie of the year honors, offensive player of the year honors in 2017, three Pro Bowl nominations (2015, ‘17, ‘18), and twice led the NFL in rushing (2017-18).
Unfortunately, shortly after signing a 4-year $60 million contract in 2018, injuries began taking their toll on his body, and after an unproductive 2019 (averaging 3.8 yards per carry), the Rams elected to cut their losses and released Gurley early in the 2020 offseason.
Last season he signed with the Atlanta Falcons and produced another lackluster season (averaging just 3.5 yards per carry) which was lowlighted by a Week 7 debacle in Detroit. Accidently scoring and allowing the Lions a chance to come back and win—which they did.
While his days of being a lead back are behind him, there is still value to bringing in a veteran back to a young backfield. In Detroit, Gurley would be no better than the third option (and maybe the fourth, if we are being honest), but he is a productive pass blocker and could be reliable in emergency situations.
For now, it’s just a try-out, but the Lions do have an open spot on their 90-man roster after defensive tackle Joel Heath tore his ACL on Day 2 of OTAs.