LA Rams RB Darrell Henderson new injury imperils his status

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
LA Rams Roster Darrell Henderson Jr.
Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports /

Henderson cannot handle the load

In the 2021 NFL season, Henderson’s biggest workload came in a Week 6 victory over the NY Giants in which he carried the ball 21 times for 78 yards and a touchdown. One month later, he could only muster five carries in a Week 10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. By Week 12, the LA Rams had to shut him down. For the remaining 10 games played by the Rams, including postseason contests, Henderson would carry the football a grand total of 11 times.

The 2020 NFL season has a similar tale. In that year, Henderson peaked in a Week 3 loss to the Buffalo Bills by carrying the football 20 times for 114 yards and a touchdown.  One month later, he carried the ball 15 times in a Week 7 win over the Chicago Bears. But by Week 12, the start of December, he would carry the ball just 18 times over the next seven games.

The pattern is there. But is there a solution?

Do not open until Christmas

Well, the LA Rams could bubble wrap the guy, stick him on the bench with a tag that says ‘Do not open until Christmas,’ and then use him late in the season. But that is hardly an economical use for the guy. After all, if he is not available until later in the season, then he is taking up a roster spot and siphoning off salary dollars that could be applied to a full-season rusher.

When the LA Rams drafted RB Kyren Williams, I expect that he was projected to be that full-season alternative. Curiously, Williams himself has already been injured, needed surgery, and must now rehab in a rookie season that will likely disrupt any timetable that could have aimed Williams into an offensive contributor in the early part of the 2022 NFL season.

Can Henderson pull it all together? Well, we know he can produce in this offense. The trick is to demonstrate durability. Starting off the 2022 offseason programs with a soft tissue injury may not be the end of the world for Darrell Henderson Jr.’s NFL career. But it could prove to be the beginning of the end of his chapter with the LA Rams.

light. Trending. LA Rams surprisingly waive ILB Travin Howard