NFL Rumors: Should the Raiders sign Todd Gurley to replace injured Peyton Barber?

Former Atlanta Falcons RB Todd Gurley
Former Atlanta Falcons RB Todd Gurley

Through the first four weeks of the 2021 season, the Las Vegas Raiders are off to a blazing start with a 3-1 record.

The Raiders may be coming off a disappointing Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but it shouldn’t take away from their promising push. Although the team didn’t demonstrate a strong offensive performance against the Chargers, they possess one of the league’s most productive units.

Las Vegas accomplished that largely through quarterback Derek Carr, leading the charge with his arm. However, the team’s depth at the running back position has been dealt a nagging injury, with Peyton Barber, who is dealing with turf toe.

Todd Gurley could be an intriguing option for the Raiders

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that no fractures were found, but he’s awaiting more tests to further clarify the situation. Barber has had a solid start to this season as he’s recorded 143 rushing yards on 37 carries with a touchdown. It includes him posting 111 rushing yards on 23 attempts with a touchdown against the Dolphins.

Barber’s injury situation could lead the Raiders to explore other options to find depth behind Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake. The duo has provided a unique look in the backfield due to their contrasting playing styles.

Las Vegas could venture into free agency to add more of a punch to the backfield by adding former Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley. The 27-year-old has been without a team since last playing with the Atlanta Falcons in the 2020 campaign, where he had 678 rushing yards on 195 carries, nine rushing touchdowns and 25 catches for 164 receiving yards.

Gurley worked out for a few teams over the offseason but didn’t sign a deal with any team. The Raiders could quickly swoop in to bring him aboard as he’s waiting for the opportunity to extend his NFL career.

He isn’t the player he once was with the Los Angeles Rams, where he won the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year behind a career-high 1,305 rushing yards and 788 receiving yards. He can still be a strong factor in goal-line situations as he proved last year with the Falcons.

The Raiders won’t need him to step into a prominent role as he will only need to provide another proven factor in the backfield. His workload will vary at times, which won’t truly test his durability. Meanwhile, the team won’t need to commit to a hefty contract to bring him aboard to play the rest of the 2021 season.

It’s a low-risk move that can only help the Raiders find more stability in the backfield as they push toward the playoffs.

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Edited by Henno van Deventer
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