The LA Rams running game drifted aimlessly in 2019. Can RB Darrell Henderson put the Rams rushing attack back on track, possibly at the expense of Todd Gurley‘s playing time?
The LA Rams did not randomly draft running back Darrell Henderson in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Whether it was an insurance policy, a subtle message, or simply the attraction of adding a potential returner to the special teams, the move created a statement to the organization and the fans. That statement delivered to everyone was pretty obvious. The Rams wanted more oomph in a running game which relied far to heavily upon veteran runner CJ Anders to close out the 2018 playoffs.
Fresh legs, and more speed. Those were the answers sought by the Rams from the 2019 NFL Draft. But what the team was left with instead was a host of more questions. The 2019 Rams offense was able to reduce the workload on running back Todd Gurley. However, rather than increase the load of Henderson or backup running back Malcolm Brown, the Rams opted to increase the number of passing attempts per game.
Perhaps part of that decision making process was deliberate. After all, we know that the Rams offensive line began the season grading out poorly, and then the team was caught in what seemed to be an endless loop of injury, swapping linemen, getting a game or two behind them, another injury. Eventually, the offensive line seemed to stabilize somewhat. Of course, the damage was already done, and Goff and the passing game become the lion’s share of the offensive game plan.
That decision left three running backs doing the work for two running backs from the previous season. While the effort did result in reducing the workload for premier RB Gurley, the lack of touches left the team still confused as to the upside of the young RB Henderson.