4 LA Rams who may lose their starting jobs to rookies

Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Roster Darrell Henderson Jr.
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II – Running back

The LA Rams love what running back Darrell Henderson Jr. does on the football field when he is healthy. He is a dangerous runner who can attack the defense’s perimeter better than most, and he is just as deadly out of the backfield as a receiver. There is a lot to love about the guy.

But the Rams are just as frustrated with Henderson’s inability to be available. He has played in 40 of 53 games in the past three seasons and started in just 21 games. Over that time frame, he has rushed 326 times. For comparison, NFL rushing leader, Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor, rushed 332 times in 2021 alone.

State of confusion

But most of all, the LA Rams are just downright confused. They simply have no way of knowing when Henderson will be healthy and when he will be unable to play due to injury. That actually came back to bite the team in the arse, because the weekly practices excluded Henderson in hopes to keep him healthy for game time. But when the game arrived, the offensive timing was off because Henderson did not practice plays with the team. It was not until the team pivoted to veteran RB Sony Michel that the offense began to cook.

It’s pretty clear that when the LA Rams traded up in the 2022 NFL Draft to select Notre Dame’s versatile running back Kyren Williams, they were eager to get Williams on the roster.

The initial hope was that Williams could do everything like Henderson, but would be a bit more durable. Well, that is until Williams broke his foot in OTAs. While that may have set the timetable for Kyren Williams to see action back, I don’t think it’s derailed that outcome. Henderson will need to be available 100 percent of the 2022 NFL season to prevent that from happening, and he has never done so in the past.

I wouldn’t look for that to happen now.