Gurley, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time first-team All-Pro, and new Lions quarterback Jared Goff played four seasons together (2016-19) with the Los Angeles Rams. The Lions visit the Rams this season on Oct. 24.
Gurley, who turns 27 in August, ran for a career-low 678 yards and nine touchdowns on a career-low 195 rushing attempts (3.5 yards per carry) last season in 15 games for the Atlanta Falcons. He caught 25 passes for 164 yards.
Gurley scored a league-leading 19 touchdowns in 2017 and 21 in 2018 en route to a Super Bowl appearance, but hasn’t been the same player since late in that 2018 season, when knee troubles began cropping up again. He tore his left ACL in college and reportedly has arthritis in the knee.
The 10th overall pick out of Georgia in 2015, Gurley would join a Lions backfield that includes starter D’Andre Swift, a fellow Bulldog.
The Lions will have a new-look backfield this season. The team signed former Green Bay Packers tailback Jamaal Williams in free agency to back up Swift, and drafted Oregon State’s Jermar Jefferson in the seventh round.
Former second-round pick Kerryon Johnson was released in the offseason and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Adrian Peterson remains unsigned.
Last season, Gurley helped the Lions defeat the Falcons, when he accidentally fell into the end zone to score a go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, giving the Lions the ball back with a chance to win the game. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with tight end T.J. Hockenson for the tying score with no time remaining, and kicker Matt Prater converted the walk-off extra point.