Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with an unspecified knee injury after he was unable to practice all week, coach Raheem Morris said.
Wide receiver Julio Jones, meanwhile, is listed as questionable with a nagging hamstring injury. He did not practice Friday.
Morris was vague on the specific details of Gurley’s injury, but he did suggest Gurley was dinged up during last week’s 24-9 loss at New Orleans, when Gurley did not play in the fourth quarter.
“The [Saints] game kind of got out of hand, went more to a passing game,” Morris said Friday. “Obviously he came out of the game with some battle wounds from the game that he got in that game, so we’ve gotta see where he is and see what he can do. But obviously that was a tough, physical game that we just played.
“One time he came off with a little something, but he was able to go out there. He’s such a tough warrior-mentality type of guy to go at all times. We know he’s gonna try to go back out there when he can.”
It’s unclear if Gurley’s current issue is related to the nagging left knee injury that hampered his previous two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams before he was released this offseason. Gurley, 26, had played in each of the Falcons’ first 10 games this year with 167 carries for 610 yards and nine touchdowns, plus 16 catches for 82 yards. He ranked sixth in the NFL in carries heading into Week 12.
Fourth-year backup Brian Hill is the leading candidate to replace Gurley as the leader in Atlanta’s backfield, based on the role he has played this season with 261 rushing yards, 111 receiving yards, one TD and 7.6 touches per game. The Falcons will also likely turn to experienced third-year backup Ito Smith.
Jones’ status is also in doubt after he was sidelined during last week’s game at New Orleans. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, and Atlanta canceled practice Thursday as a COVID-19 precaution.
Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst (ankle) is also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game after he practiced on a limited basis Friday.
Receiver Calvin Ridley (foot) was not listed with any injury designation, meaning he is expected to play, despite being limited in practice all week.