How warm and fuzzy do you feel about the LA Rams running back situation? As for me, I’m not feeling it. Not that I doubt the abilities of Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr., or Kyren Williams when they are healthy. I don’t even doubt the abilities of any running backs who are added to the roster to ensure that the team has a minimum of two healthy running backs for game day.
At a minimum.
Right now, durability concerns over the Rams’ rushing offense are real. The Rams roster appears to be committing to running backs who are prone to injury. Too pessimistic for you? Well, the season has not started, and the Rams’ top three runners have already suffered injuries that have interrupted their ability to practice with the team.
Rookie RB Kyren Williams is the healthiest of the bunch, but he has not even had a single offensive snap with the team in any preseason game. That is the least of our concerns. Next up is the fact that Darrell Henderson Jr. is the healthiest of the group right now. But we know that since he has arrived at the LA Rams, he has not had an injury-free season. As a matter of fact, he has not had a significant stretch of time without an injury.
But the biggest and most worrisome matter is the status of RB Cam Akers. I love the young man. But after coming off a huge Achilles Tendon injury from one year ago, his 2022 return has been tarnished by a nagging battle with soft tissue injury, a battle he has yet to win.
The Rams roster simply needs one experienced and healthy veteran running back who knows this offense and who can be relied upon, much like the team did with Sony Michel in 2021.
Come to think about it, why not Sony Michel once more?
There are plenty of reasons to re-sign Sony Michel. Let’s highlight the top three reasons:
I – He is healthy and durable
The greatest reason to add Sony Michel to the LA Rams roster is the simplest one. He is consistently available. That’s not some form of poke or prod to instigate a heated debate. It’s just a plain and simple fact. The LA Rams seem to prefer thoroughbreds for their running back stable, while Michel is a mudder, a workhorse who shows up day in and day out and delivers.
We witness the importance of that type of running back when the weather turned colder in December 2021, and Sony Michel took over. The Rams would be wise to restore that plug-n-play capacity to the Rams roster once more.
II – He is familiar with the Rams offense and with QB Matthew Stafford
How can the LA Rams ignore the fact that it was Sony Michel’s heroic efforts to contribute on the ground when the aerial assault sputtered? Well, perhaps even more importantly, how can the Rams ignore the fact that Sony Michel is an option from the NFL waiver wire, or if he clears waivers, the NFL Free Agency market, who knows the Rams better than any other running back option?
Michel put up 845 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. But he also caught 17 of 21 passes for another 128 yards and one touchdown. He moved the chains 55 times for the Rams’ offense in 2021.
III – He is the most productive RB for the LA Rams since Todd Gurley
Here’s one not many will realize: Sony Michel’s 845 rushing yards was the most by an LA Rams running back since LA Rams RB Todd Gurley put up 857 yards in 2019. He was the lone runner who broke the 100+ yards rushing plateau last season, a feat that he accomplished twice.
He only started seven of the team’s 17 games in 2021, so he is quite familiar with performing in a rotational role. In fact, he did so for the Rams last season.
The Rams traded a fourth-round and a sixth-round pick to acquire Sony Michel from the New England Patriots a year ago. Re-signing him would feel as though the Rams got more value from that trade, an exchange that currently feels a bit expensive for a one-year rental.
Insurance policy? Dependable backup? The goal here is to make the Rams roster more competitive.
I won’t lie. Re-signing veteran running back Sony Michel would make the LA Rams far more competitive in my view.