Five ways the LA Rams strategy failed to deliver in 2020
By Jay Blucher
4. Misuse of running back Darrell Henderson
You don’t run a Corvette on a gravel road at 100 miles per hour. Then why would you rush Darrell Henderson more than 20 times in one NFL football game? The punishment he absorbed seemed excessive, and eventually, he broke down. They rode that lone horse too long, and too hard.
The hits an NFL running back receives on any given down are no joke. According to an article entitled “The Science of Football,” pubished in 2016 in Scientific American, the impacts on a football field are measured in G-force. A G-force is a measure of acceleration. 1G is the acceleration we feel due to the force of gravity, so 5 G’s is five times the force of gravity. According to NASA, 3 G’s is the amount of force it takes to pin people to the walls of those spinning carnival rides. A race car braking and turning is about 5 G’s of force.
Researchers found that running backs experienced more “severe” impacts (defined as above 10 G’s) than all other offensive positions. Henderson absorbed too many 10 G blows last season.
Going into the season the running-back-by-committee approach was always somewhat suspect. The trio of Darrell Henderson Malcolm Brown, and Cam Akers never quite reached the equivalent of a three-headed monster. And when Henderson went down with a season-ending high ankle sprain in Week 16, the lion’s share of carries fell to Akers, who truly emerged this year.