It’s not really much of a secret that the LA Rams running back room is not exactly stuffed full of heavyweights. After all, the big boy on the block was 5-foot-10 217-pound running back Cam Akers, who just so happens to be gone from the active roster for the foreseeable future. With his absence, the LA Rams rushers are 174-pound Otis Anderson Jr., 188-pound Raymond Calais, 205-pound Jake Funk, 208-pound Xavier Jones, and starting running back, 208-pound Darrell Henderson.
No player weighs more than 208 pounds. The average weight of the five running backs is 196.6 pounds. The mean (if you are into that statistical stuff) for the running backs is 205 pounds. On paper, this is all just meaningless number crunching. To be relevant, these guys have to make positive things happen on the football field.
So far, there is not much evidence that the Rams are getting that done. While there are reports of bright shiny flashes from Xavier Jones, Jake Funk, and others, it’s not showing for the fans in the preseason just yet. For all the positive verbiage, talk, and rhetoric from the coaches and the players, this offense just doesn’t seem to be in synch so far in the running game.
Los Angeles Rams
It’s not a done deal just yet. The Rams are not even scratching the surface of some options that will improve their chances of rushing the football. Will the team make a more determined effort this week against the Raiders? I think that will certainly be discussed. The ability to evaluate the running backs requires the opportunity to see how they hit open running lanes and how well they perform in the open field. Yes, the offense can up their game. But defenses can also.
The LA Rams’ current running back options are all on the light end of the scale. Was that the plan? If so, it’s certainly painted the final roster into a bit of a corner. The Rams were running without a true backup to Akers from the beginning of OTAs. Now, with Akers out for the season, the team is trying to MacGyver an itty-bitty committee to handle the rushing workload for 17 regular-season games plus up to four (if fortunate) post-season contests.
Will the Rams bring in a bigger-bodied running back? There is evidence mounting to suggest that the team may do exactly that. Well, at least scanning the waiver wires for a young rusher with a promising upside. That could mean a player in his first or second year in the NFL, promising potential, but simply could not make his previous team’s roster due to the depth at the position. While that could occur as early as August 25th, I’m looking at September 1st as a more likely date.
For now, the Rams will try to stabilize their running game and put up some runs that will be fun to analyze. Video footage of one and two-yard bursts do not give enough to work with. Let’s hope the running backs have a better outing against the Raiders. If not, look for new rushing options on the waiver wire.