The durability of Darrell
There are many reasons to believe that the Rams offense will always have a place for backup RB Darrell Henderson Jr. But for any of them to matter, Henderson has to demonstrate far greater durability.
Perhaps it’s not a fair ask of Hendeson, who was drafted in 2019 with the expressed limited purpose of giving the LA Rams offense a change of pace rusher, and assisting the team to manage the workload of then featured running back Todd Gurley. A year later, Gurley was released, rookie RB Cam Akers was drafted, and the Rams changed Henderson’s mission from a change of pace running back into the pacesetter running back.
The 5-foot-8 208-pound rusher is not built for that role.
Not that he is not willing to try. The Rams had given him plenty of work in the past two seasons. But the more work the team tries to give to him, the more frequently he comes up banged, bruised, and unable to suit up for the next game. In three seasons and 49 games, he has played 40 games and started 21. He is a productive rusher when he is on the football field, averaging a respectable 4.5 yards per rush, with 650 yards and five touchdowns per year over the past two seasons.
So yes, he adds value to the offense.
But the Rams have become more and more frustrated over their backup running back who has plenty of his own injury history. The situation was so dire that in 2021, the Rams traded a fourth-round and sixth-round draft pick for a far more durable running back named Sony Michel. With the team attempting to restore feature RB Cam Akers to his pre-injury dominance, the team could use a more dependable backup rusher. After this contract is up, the Rams may decide to go in a different direction.