LA Rams can bide their time for a RB: Waived Mark Ingram?
Perhaps I am guilty of wishful thinking, but the rumor mill has it that the word out of Houston is that All-Pro veteran RB Mark Ingram is by no means a lock to make the Houston Texans’ roster. And I can think of no better replacement for the loss of the LA Rams’ leading rush Cam Akers than Ingram. He is 5-foot-9, but a stout 215-pound running back who put up over 1,000 yards rushing as recently as 2019.
Of course, I have a particular partiality for a big back that can run through the tackles and get the tough yards. Somebody you can depend upon to be a double-digit ball carrier workhorse, a baller that toils in the trenches. The kind of running back who takes a licking and keeps on ticking, who bounces up after a tough tackle, even rubs a little dirt on the bruise(s), and comes back for more. And since the team also lost its bruiser of a big back in RB Malcolm Brown in free agency to the Miami Dolphins earlier this off-season (and was counting on Akers to be its workhorse).
Ingram’s my kinda back. He’s in that John Riggins/Marshawn Lynch mold – just as soon bowl you over as look at you. Thrives on contact, relishes it.
He gives the offense a stout rusher between the tackles, but also a crafty receiver. 62 rushing touchdowns in his 10-year career, plus 10 receiving touchdowns. Choose your poison.
Los Angeles Rams
I was actually disappointed to learn the Houston Texans swooped in and nabbed the ex-New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Raven Ingram this off-season. Kinda wanted to see him in blue and gold. At the time, all I could do was tell myself, “Good get, Houston.”
But now I’m hearing Ingram could find himself as the odd-man-out in a crowded backfield down in Houston. That’s music to my ears.
That team recently added the ex-Denver Bronco Phillip Lindsay and then also just added ex-New England Patriot Rex Burkhead to their 53-man roster. All three are currently listed behind RB David Johnson on the Texans’ backfield depth chart. Ingram’s cause isn’t helped much because he doesn’t play special teams as Burkhead does. He’s the least versatile of that bunch and could be a waiver wire casualty at the end of training camp.
Rams’ head coach Sean McVay has already stated the team isn’t going to rush out (panic?) and grab a free agent RB immediately after the loss of Akers. This team can afford to bide its time a bit, see how (or if) Henderson can fill those shoes, along with Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais, Otis Anderson, and rookie Jake Funk. There are options.
And I kinda’ think that’s a prudent course of action (or inaction) for the Rams at this juncture. Survey the landscape a bit. Be a bit patient. The team doesn’t have to make any rash decisions. See what the backs already in their fold can do. And as for the rest of the running backs around the league that might become available, see who shakes out after teams’ training camps are over and roster cut-downs occur.
Because there really isn’t a free agent back available now that excites me nearly as much as Ingram. I don’t see Todd Gurley coming back as a Ram as very likely. That bridge may not have been burned entirely, but it certainly got charred a bit.
Adrian Peterson is the marquee name among the currently available free agent running backs, but then there’s a couple of others, who (much like Ingram) could soon become available after roster cuts such as the New England Patriots Sony Michel, or the Denver Broncos’ Royce Freeman.
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” A dude named Aristotle said that a very long time ago. But I think the Rams can afford to abide by it right now.