It took the Carolina Panthers more than two quarters to score their first touchdown of the season Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, but when they finally crossed the goal line, they did it in style.
The condition of Gurley's much-scrutinized left knee had been the subject of offseason speculation. Even with Newton missing the final few games, Carolina finished 2018 ranked eighth in yards per play.
Prior to that, Malcolm Brown carried the vast majority of the load for the Rams (1-0) and finished with 53 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns.
"Nope", Sean McVay said when asked if Gurley would be on a limited play count. He also had a catch for four yards.
The Rams went with a shared backfield, but the split between Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown wasn't almost as close as many thought it was.
The defense has improved with the additions of Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews, who will provide significant help to Aaron Donald. Newton sprained his foot near the end of the first quarter during the preseason game vs. Patriots on August 22.
The most controversial moment of the game came during the midway point of the third quarter when the Panthers forced a fumble, but the call was incomplete on the field.
McCaffrey rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns in 19 carries.
The Panthers cut the deficit to 10 points with a field goal near the end of the third quarter and then pulled to within three early in the fourth.
Until then, the best thing Rams fans can do is be happy with the way things played out on Sunday, and hope there aren't any setbacks over the next couple of weeks, because Gurley still has a long way to go from a proving perspective. Brown took it in for a touchdown later in the drive, giving the Rams a 23-10 lead.
The Rams, of course, are going to put up a ton of points in 2019.
At first, Gurley showed similar signs to this past winter in which he struggled in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl after rushing for just eight yards on six carries in the first half against Carolina.
The Rams appeared to have the outcome in hand when Littleton intercepted a pass by Newton, but Zuerlein missed a 41-yard field goal attempt.
Rams receiver Robert Woods recovered the ensuing onside kick.