5 problems LA Rams must avoid in 2023’s initial roster
By Bret Stuter
Mistake V: No clear feature running back in the group
The LA Rams entered the 2022 NFL season with running backs, but no clearly featured rusher. It was the problem caused by the team’s failure to extend veteran RB Sony Michel and then amplified by the fact that the team did not play any running backs in the preseason.
While there are valid reasons not to play the starters in preseason games, we cannot fool ourselves into believing that the decision not to allow running backs in preseason competition does not come without its own downsides. Perhaps the greatest problem is the fact that the LA Rams entered the 2022 NFL season without any sense of which running back was the most effective.
Lotta hype, and not much production
The team certainly hyped up the potential of rookie running back Kyren Williams. But he was injured throughout training camp, eventually healing enough to be considered to be a vital offensive weapon in the season opener. But he was injured on special teams and was never able to take an offensive snap in the game.
For the season, the Rams rushed 411 times for 1,681 yards. The team’s leading rusher, Cam Akers, sat out two games and the BYE due to a dispute with HC Sean McVay. He rushed 188 times for 786 yards and seven touchdowns. Six of those touchdowns, and 512 yards, all happened in the final six games of the season.
The Rams runner-up running back, Darrell Henderson Jr., carried the ball 70 times for 283 yards and three touchdowns. But he was outright released. What of rookie RB Kyren Williams? He managed 35 carries and 139 yards in his rookie season.