7 times the LA Rams may have been shortchanged in 2021 roster moves

(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
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Trade scenario III

The LA Rams rushing attack has been complete and utter chaos this season. The fall of projected starter Cam Akers to what may or may not be a season-ending injury has created a Kobayashi Maru caliber dilemma. But as the Rams have attempted to navigate refilling the roster, they have done so in a very unusual manner.

To see what we mean, consider the contrast of how the Tennessee Titans and the LA Rams have handled the loss of a starting running back? The Titans immediately signed two running backs to the practice squad, Adrian Peterson and D’Onta Foreman. Three days later, the team signed Peterson to the active roster. The next day, the Titans signed D’Onta Foreman to the active roster. But through it all, the Titans continued to run the ball. They only went heavily into their passing game against the Houston Texans.

The team’s high rusher put up yardage of 29 yards, 30 yards, 40 yards, and finally 131 yards. In fact, they put up 270 yards rushing in their last game against the New England Patriots.

Are the LA Rams THAT different at running the football?

Now let’s look at the strategy employed by the LA Rams offense. When Cam Akers fell to injury, the Rams did not sign free agents, nor runners on the waiver wire. Rather, the team deliberately traded a 2022 sixth-round and a 2023 fourth-round pick for running back Sony Michel. The result?

The team has never committed to running the ball. Of course, early in the season, the teams had DeSean Jackson to stretch the field, and tight end Johnny Mundt to block with 12-personnel grouping when the Rams needed to run the ball.

The fact is that from the way the LA Rams have not used Sony Michel in the offense, why trade so much to get him on the roster? The Titans picked up D’Ontra Foreman for nothing after he was cut by the Atlanta Falcons. It’s not that Sony Michel can’t do the job. It’s simply that the Rams traded two draft picks for the guy. Compare what the Rams gave up for a part-time rushed, and the picks received by trading away a starting defensive lineman, staring inside linebacker, and a starting punter.

The Rams traded away too many picked for a part-time rotational running back.