Rams running back Todd Gurley had been elected a team captain in 2016, 2017, and 2018. The Rams did not name Gurley a team captain for 2019.
“We’ve got a bunch of great leaders,” coach Sean McVay told reporters on Thursday. “He definitely got recognized by his peers as somebody that was right up there with those guys. We let the players select that and those were the six that they ended up voting on, but Todd’s been a great leader. The fact that you may or may not be represented as a captain officially, we’ve got guys that we expect them to carry themselves accordingly. Todd is certainly somebody that influences and affects a locker room in a positive way and I know he’s looked at as a leader on this team.”
McVay also was asked whether he had spoken to Gurley about the development.
“We talk about it,” McVay said. “It’s one of those things where I think he knows he has the respect of his teammates. When you look at it, it’s nothing really against Todd, it continues to be a good reflection of those other guys. It’s one of those deals where he’s still looked at as a leader. He was right up there with the guys selected as the captains, in terms of he very easily was a couple of votes away from being one as well.”
But it’s not as if some other offensive leader got more votes than Gurley; the Rams specifically opted to name two offensive captains this year (tackle Andrew Whitworth and quarterback Jared Goff) after having three in 2018 (Whitworth, Goff, and Gurley). So, at a minimum, it’s curious that the Rams have one fewer offensive captain than they had a year ago, and that the guy who was left out is Gurley.
Gurley, based on the transcript circulated by the team, wasn’t asked about his captaincy snub. He was, however, asked (again) about his knee. He said (again) that it’s fine and (again) that he’ll be the guy he’s always been.
That may be the case, but most people who have been paying attention to the situation believe there’s a fundamental difference in Gurley’s overall ability to perform at the same level that he did, and it’s hard not to wonder whether the players took that into account when voting on team captains.