What can LA Rams fans expect from RB Kyren Williams return?

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have been eagerly awaiting the debut of rookie running back Kyren Williams, and that anticipation may have buoyed the expectations of the new rusher.  Typically, I’m the guy who loves to imagine positive possibilities and bring those various rosy-colored scenarios to life in what may happen articles.

But on this occasion, the questions over the starting five offensive linemen, the fact that the Rams have huge question marks surrounding their starting quarterback, and the fact that this team truly does not like to run the football, has tampered with the upside of the LA Rams rushing attack, regardless of who is running with the football, even if that rusher is rookie RB Kyren Williams.

How long will it take to get him up to playing speed?  Well, likely more than one game

Don’t look for a breakout debut

If the Rams committed to one running back as they had to veteran Sony Michel in the last six games of the 2021 NFL season, the outlook may play out differently. But this is a rookie who will almost certainly be sharing the load in the backfield with the likes of RB Darrell Henderson and Cam Akers. Even if he does rip off some great gains, as Henderson did against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the offense will distribute the number of carries to the other two backs.

Against the Bucs, Henderson rushed 12 times for 56 yards. That feels like a good ceiling for Williams in this next game. Why? It’s still the Rams’ offense, an offense that is struggling. It’s still chaotic on the line of scrimmage with the team starting a new five offensive linemen for this one, with the return of OL Coleman Shelton to right guard. But most of all, it’s still a pass-first offense regardless of who is starting at quarterback.

Of course, Williams could do better. But then again, he could fall short. The trick is to set your expectations at a point where he has a better chance of impressing you than disappointing you. With the Rams struggling to run with the football this season, perhaps expecting less is a wise choice?

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