All signs point to LA Rams shopping waiver wire for RB help now

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams entered Organized Training Activities (OTAs) with six healthy running backs. The LA Rams entered training camp with five healthy running backs. Now the LA Rams are facing the 2021 NFL season with only four healthy running backs remaining. That means that the running back roster has already been depleted by a third, a full 33 1/3 percent before the team has even gotten to the first game of the 2021 NFL season. Actually, to be more precise, the Rams running backs have been depleted by a full third before the final preseason game.

That is simply unsustainable.

While there is no immediate need for the LA Rams to act just yet, the team will likely move to reinforce their rushers with a waiver claim among August 31, 2021, final roster cuts of 27 players per all 32 teams.

A year ago during the final roster cuts, the Rams were able to poach speedy running back Raymond Calais off the waiver wire of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs intended to re-sign Calais to their practice squad, but the ever-vigilant LA Rams noticed his appearance on the waiver wire and acted quickly to add him to the Rams’ active roster.

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

Rams Roster

While it’s not inconceivable that the Rams could add a rusher before the end of the month, the supply and quality of available players are a bit too shallow for the Rams’ needs right now. In fact, after checking out the NFL waiver wire today for August 2021 releases, running backs are in very short supply in terms of being waived at this juncture.

The availability of suitable options will certainly contribute to the timing of when the Rams pull the trigger on adding a new player.

Meanwhile, many continue to speculate that the Rams will eventually sign a well-known seasoned veteran for a role in this offense. I tend to believe that will not take place for two reasons. First and foremost, most of those players team to be very selective to the type of role they are willing to sign up for. In short, the Rams will not be offering a starting running back role to any veteran, and may only be willing to commit to a light role.  Most veterans do not need a paycheck for light usage.

Secondly, the Rams are still harboring hope for Cam Akers to return this year (which we will discuss with the latest updates soon).  That leaves this role in a temp-agency sort of category, a role that veterans snub their noses at.

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From the team’s perspective, veterans come at premium pricing, and that will place most of them far above what the team is willing to spend on this role. They can wait for a player to be released, and then claim the right player with the right contract terms. In one week’s time, 864 NFL players will be released, the LA Rams appear to be willing to be that one or two of those 864 players will meet their criteria.