LA Rams: RB Darrell Henderson one key to winning in 2021

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Darrell Henderson
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Henderson’s rushing role

We know that Darrell Henderson can rush for over 100 yards in a single game. We also know that running back Darrell Henderson has struggled to remain healthy in each of his first two NFL seasons. He rushed 39 carries in his rookie season, and for 138 carries in his second year in the Rams offense. While neither workload is particularly heavy, it does point out one of the vulnerabilities of the Rams offense. Henderson cannot be viewed as a heavy load running back.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

So what type of role is he best suited for in the Rams running game? Well, he is a small powerful back who loves to get the ball in his hands in open spaces. His best production at both the collegiate level and the pros has been whenever he is used in attacking the perimeter. So bring him for a series where he attacks the edges of the defense or pulls the attention of the defense in one direction to allow a jet-sweep the other direction.

Henderson is the horizontal stretch for the Rams. He is the guy who comes in when the outside linebacker or cornerback are cheating to the inside, and he then makes them pay by going wide and outflanking them. Of course, he is just one of the multiple weapons on offense, but what a difference his rare combination of size, speed, and power can make in the right down and distance.

A perfect example of how much of a difference he can make is the Buffalo Bills game on week three. The Rams were quickly way behind in that game, but the team stuck to its guns and ran the ball. The result was a career-high performance for Henders, 20 carries for 114 yards. That is likely the upper limit to his production on the ground, as his best workload falls at or below 10 carries per game. But timed correctly, those carries can completely change the offensive tempo and momentum.