Shocked? For 5th time, LA Rams part ways with arguably best RB

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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You can debate whether or not the LA Rams are committed to the run. But this team is without a doubt not committed to running backs. This team has not had a strong running back since the prime years of veteran rusher Todd Gurley. But Gurley propelled the Rams both through the air and the ground, and when his knees struggled under the pace, the Rams’ offense pivoted to the passing game and have not looked back.

This is the team that parted ways with RB C.J. Anderson after Anderson signed on with the team at the end of the 2018 NFL season. In two regular season games, Anderson rushed for 299 yards and two touchdowns. In the NFL Playoffs, he rushed 46 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns and caught two of five passes for 17 yards. But in 2019, Anderson was gone.

The pattern begins to take shape

In 2019, the LA Rams tried to manage RB Todd Gurley’s workload, but that was the year that the Rams’ offensive line was hammered with injuries. Compared to modern times, Gurley’s 857 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground seem almost too good to be true. But those were awfully expensive yards, as the team had guaranteed plenty of salary to Gurley. Curiously, the Rams had nobody on the roster who had carried the football more than 260 yards. But that did not stop the Rams, who released Gurley at the end of that season

In 2020, the LA Rams decided the abandon the feature back concept, and instead rushed a trio of players: Veteran Malcolm Brown, RB Darrell Henderson, and rookie RB Cam Akers. While no RB rushed for more than 625 yards, this trio combined to lead the Rams’ ground game to 2018 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns.

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While Akers and Henderson both put up over 600 yards, veteran RB Malcolm Brown had the best season of his career, rushing 101 times for 419 yards and five touchdowns, as well as catching 23 of 33 passes for another 162 yards. But, at season’s end, the Rams had enough and allowed Brown’s contract to expire without an offer. 101 rushes that led to five TDs. Poof! Vanished.