LA Rams RB Buddy Howell versatility can be vital to team

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

From the moment that the LA Rams lost both special team specialist Jake Funk and blocking specialist Johnny Mundt, the obvious choice seemed to be running back Buddy Howell. Not that Howell has been a surprise standout off the practice squad, but he has been elevated to the game-day roster twice, performed well enough on special teams, and plays at the running back position in a big-bodied frame.

The Rams emerged from the Week 6 contest banged up, as the New York Giants play a very physical style of football.  As a result, the team has placed RB Jake Funk and TE Johnny Mundt on injured reserve, which opened up two spots on the 53-man roster. One slot will be filled by RB Buddy Howell.

I like the Howell promotion, and to be quite truthful, expected it to occur at some point this season. He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs a muscular 225-pounds, big enough to stand eye-to-eye with most inside linebackers in the NFL. He played three seasons for the Houston Texans before they released him this year. He was a special team’s gunner there, with an occasional mix into the offense.

The LA Rams added him most likely due to his proficiency on coverage units. But he will also be an intriguing player who can fill the power-back role vacated by veteran Malcolm Brown. So far this season, the Rams had not had an option to send a rusher into the lane in a punishing style of running. They have that option now.

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Of course, the Rams will likely not put Howell into any offensive plays for some time, as they are reluctant to introduce new players into a rotation that is working. For Week 7, he will most likely play a special team’s only role. But come Week 8 when the Rams travel to face his former team, the Houston Texans? Well, he could have a chance to run with the Rams offense as well.

As the weather grows colder, and rushing yardage comes at a premium, I believe that Buddy Howell’s value will only increase. For now, we will likely only see his play on special teams. For now, that will have to do.