LA Rams six shooter: Running backs room already loaded.
While the LA Rams have not acted to extend veteran RB Sony Michel, the team is not exactly short of RB options. Truth be told, the offense has six players returning to the team this year. Curiously, the only one who is 100 percent healthy is the one with no experience with the team, RB Javian Hawkins.
The team welcomes back Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr., Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais, and Jake Funk, and added Hawkins to a Reserve/Future contract this year. While they are essentially the same players who returned to the team in 2021, to much optimism and fanfare, they are different this year.
Intermingled with optimism and hope are the gossamer threads of doubts, concerns, and questions. Not one of the group of rushers remained healthy through the course of the 2021 NFL season. In fact, the entire ground game was a bit crippled all season. If not for the excellent on-demand rushing of now free agent RB Sony Michel, the Rams offense would have had less than 1000 yards on the ground all season and would have had a far more difficult path to the postseason.
The Rams’ depth chart is loaded with rehabbing RBs
The LA Rams have plenty of bodies to compete for roles in 2022, and a brand new running back coach in former SMU/TCU RB coach Ra’Shaad Samples to lead them. But as we’ve posed the question before, are the Rams okay at running back? With their five top players at the position all coming off major injuries, can the team enter the 2022 NFL season ‘as is?’ Or should the Rams hedge their bets by adding a healthy set of legs to the roster?
The Rams have scheduled a meeting with an impressive running back James Cook out of the University of Georgia. Because of his size, he is currently projected as an early Day 3 prospect. If the LA Rams are shopping for RBs, there are plenty of talented prospects who should be on the draft board as they step up to pick on Day 3.
How many RBs will the Rams’ depth chart hold for training camp? If the Rams draft a running back, will they immediately waive one of the current RBs as an offsetting move?
Some have commented about the LA Rams offensive line. My greatest content is the ground game. The Rams were hampered all season in 2021 due to repeated and significant injuries to nearly every running back who began training camp with the team. Now, they are all out to prove that they are all healthy, all back to 100 percent, and all capable of stepping up for the team if needed.
I am typically quite the hopeful one. But in this case, I’m a bit of a doubting Thomas. I am not saying that one or two of the Rams’ RBs won’t rehab. I’m simply skeptical that right now, it seems as though the team is counting on all of them to have rehabbed fully. I’m not sure that will happen. And so, drafting a running back on Day 3 may be the wisest course of action for the team to take.