LA Rams change of pace RB Darrell Henderson remains tops for big plays

Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams RB Darrell Henderson is very much like that imported sports car. It can be in the repair shop more often than you care for, but when the sun is out and you get it rolling on the highway, it can motor for miles and you only notice how well it moves. And how fast.

Henderson is a bit like that. He spends more time on the lift, getting minor injuries attended to. But when he is healthy, the offense loves his production.

The challenge for the LA Rams is keeping him healthy enough to get plays out of him. But once he is healthy and on that football field, the guy can play. How can I say that? Well, I’m only parroting the lasting data shared by NFL analyst Marcus Mosher. And what has Mosher shared recently?


The problem is not that Henderson is ineffective. The problem with Henderson comes down to durability. And that has been the bane of the LA Rams offense for the past three years.

Change of pace RB

It was never supposed to go down with Henderson trying to handle the workload. When he arrived in 2019, RB Todd Gurley planned to handle the burden. In 2020, rookie RB Cam Akers was drafted to ultimately handle the burden. In 2021, the Rams ultimately traded for veteran RB Sony Michel, whose role was to handle the burden.

The problem with Darrell Henderson is simply that, due to the team’s needs, they have continued to redirect Henderson’s abilities away from the change of pace role that he is best suited for, and tries to harness him in a 200+ carries type of offensive role. That will never work.

Darrell Henderson Jr. is a small volume explosive play runner who, if used properly, can be incredibly effective over the course of an NFL season. But oh, don’t we love to believe he can be more after he puts up a solid game. Just one 100+ yard outing, and suddenly the cries come to start him in each game. When the Rams try it, it ultimately backfires into some new injury.

Darrell Henderson simply is what he is. He is exactly who the LA Rams drafted him to be. And as soon as the LA Rams accept that, he could be one of their deadliest offensive weapons.

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