Practice squad players?
The Rams have already acted twice to shore up their running back depth this year. The first transaction involved signing up veteran running back Buddy Howell to the team’s practice squad. Howell is a pretty large rusher, standing 6-foot-1 and weighing in at 215-pounds. He was signed by the Houston Texans after the 2018 NFL Draft out of Florida Atlantic. He has primarily played a special teams role on cover teams, but he was developing both as a rusher and receiver before the Texans waived him in 2021.
This week, the Rams made another move to tweak the running back depth. This time, the LA Rams waived running back Otis Anderson Jr., and added running back Javian Hawkins.
Hawkins is a rookie from the University of Louisville, whose draft profile reads remarkably similar to that of Darrell Henderson. He stands 5-foot-8. He weighs a lighter 183-pounds. But he can attack a defense’s perimeter. And he is now on the LA Rams practice squad. He was originally signed to the Atlanta Falcons after the 2021 NFL Draft, but was surprisingly waived and immediately was signed by the Tennessee Titans.
Hawkins was projected as high as the fifth round in the 2021 NFL Draft per his draft profile. In reading his profile, it appears that the LA Rams could see him as a necessary backup to Henderson going forward. But the need is now, and the Rams are not going to get NFL production out of running backs just signed to the practice squad. The Rams need a veteran. So let’s make our rounds over the usual and customary names of running backs who are still available.