July 11, 2019 / 1:14 AM / 12 days ago

NFL notebook: Rams' Gurley unsure how knee will hold up

Todd Gurley, the Los Angeles Rams’ primary ballcarrier, said he isn’t certain how his arthritic knee will hold up over the long haul. An “arthritic component” in his knee became problematic in the playoffs last season, when the team attempted to manage his workload on the fly.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 9, 2019; Marina del Rey, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley attends the Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards at Ritz-Carlton. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“I’m just like, hey, we’re going to find out in training camp, you know? Once training camp comes, you’ve got the preseason, but you don’t have a lot in preseason,” Gurley told NFL Network.

Gurley said the lingering issue won’t cause him to change his playing style. However, NFL Network’s Terrell Davis, who retired in his prime because of knee issues, said the joint will eventually wear out.

The Rams drafted Darrell Henderson in the third round and matched an offer sheet to retain restricted free agent Malcolm Brown. Both will get more use as Gurley eases into the season.

—The Houston Texans will not hire a general manager for the 2019 season, instead opting to divide responsibilities among current front-office members, ESPN reported.

Going without a GM was reported as a possibility in mid-June, after the team stopped pursuing New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio. The Texans are widely expected to renew their pursuit of Caserio when his contract expires next offseason, an endeavor that would be more difficult if the team hired a GM in the interim.

According to ESPN, Houston will divide the duties of fired GM Brian Gaine among several people for the 2019 season, including director of player personnel Matt Bazirgan, director of college scouting James Liipfert, senior vice president of football administration Chris Olsen and newly hired executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby.

—The Arizona Cardinals selected Washington State safety Jalen Thompson in the fifth round of the NFL supplemental draft, giving up their fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft.

Thompson was ruled ineligible for his senior season at Washington State due to a violation of NCAA rules, the school announced late last month.

Thompson had 191 career tackles (11.5 for loss) and six interceptions in 39 games with the Cougars. He earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2017 and was an honorable mention all-conference pick last season. He worked out in front of NFL scouts on Monday in Los Angeles, with reported times of 4.47 and 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

—Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ryan Smith has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Smith, 25, made 38 tackles, one interception and six pass breakups for Tampa Bay last season, when he had six starts among his 16 games played. Smith started 10 of 15 games in 2017, when he posted 62 tackles and five pass breakups. He was a fourth-round pick of the Bucs in 2016.

Smith can participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to play in Tampa Bay’s game at the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 6.

—Monday’s deadline for franchise-tagged placekicker Robbie Gould to sign a new contract with the San Francisco 49ers appears unlikely to produce a deal.

Gould told the San Jose Mercury News that he remains uncertain if he’ll report to the team for training camp or even the regular season, let alone come to terms on a long-term agreement by Monday.

Gould, a former Bears kicker, still lives in Chicago, and the Bears are stuck in the process of finding a reliable kicker, a tailspin that began late last season and continued into the last-second playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

—Field Level Media

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