5 Rams we can safely call busts after the 2023 season

Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams
Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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IV: RB Darrell Henderson Jr.

I don't believe that running back Darrell Henderson Jr. deserved his fate at being cut from the team in the middle of the 2022 NFL season. After all, the Rams drafted the speedy and talented Henderson in 2019 to add a change-of-pace dimension to the running back room. Through no fault of his own, the team's needs changed to feature back in 2020, and Henderson struggled to be the bell cow in an offense that depended heavily on play action.

If the had an ability to show enough restraint to limit Henderson to no more than 10 to 12 carries per game, he might still be competing for the team to this day. But the release of RB Todd Gurley, the injury to RB Cam Akers, and the late addition of veteran RB Sony Mitchell combined to create the scenario in which the Rams asked Henderson to be their feature back. That question should never have been posed to the ever-willing player.

It was encouraging to see the team bring back Henderson in 2023 when both RBs Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers were both injured. But it also demonstrated that the Rams have a preference for smaller backs. Henderson simply fit the profile that the team wanted in the running back room. As soon as Williams was healthy enough to compete once more, the team cut Henderson for the second time in two seasons.

I was surprised that no team signed Henderson in 2022 after his release by the Rams. He averages more than 4.0 yards per carry, and he has 1,854 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 108 first downs for the Rams. He has also caught 76 of 106 passes (71.7 percent catch rate) for an additional 577 yards, four touchdowns, and 25 first downs. Henderson is simply the type of player whose optimal performance requires a bit of workload management. Unfortunately, it seems no NFL team can be bothered to do so.