The LA Rams have had a bit of love-hate relationships with former players in recent years. Or has it been a matter of indifference followed by interest? However you categorize it, you cannot deny the repeating scenario of a former Rams veteran player who tested his market value in the NFL Free Agency market, but who later re-signed with the Rams in an NFL version of homecoming.
The Rams re-signed former defensive backs Troy Hill in 2022, and John Johnson III in 2023. The Rams re-signed RB Malcolm Brown in 2022, and RB Sony Michel in 2023. While the results for re-signing former players has not had much success, the Rams have shown more than a willingness to turn to former players to bridge the gaps caused in the Rams roster due to unexpected injuries.
And yes, the LA Rams have another unexpected injury to deal with:
Of course, that means that the LA Rams will need to lean even more heavily into RB Kyren Williams. But, that could be a problem as well:
So where does that leave the LA Rams roster? Who will like run the football for the Rams in Week 7?
Rookie Zach Evans time to shine?
The LA Rams know that RB Ronnie Rivers will be out for four to five weeks with a knee sprain. And the LA Rams know that RB Kyren Williams suffered a more serious injury than originally thought, which all but assures that he will be inactive to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7. And to top it off, the Rams traded RB Cam Akers to the Minnesota Vikings weeks ago.
The obvious solution is to promote LA Rams rookie RB Zach Evans into a starting role. But even that plan has limits. Who backs up Evans when he needs to rest? What happens to the Rams rushing attack if Evans pulls up limping after a play?
The Rams would have an option to activate RB Royce Freeman from the practice squad. But the team has exhausted their three elevations to game day status with Freeman already. To get him eligible for Week 7, the Rams will need to sign him to their active 53-man roster. But even that has the downside of pulling all RBs to the active roster.
The Rams could choose to offer a contract to sign up for the practice squad to former running back Darrell Henderson Jr. But that may not be an optimal solution. Here's why:
Why Rams shouldn't re-sign RB Darrell Henderson Jr.
As I had pointed out, the Rams have explored and executed re-signing former players in the recent past, and so far, the results have gone 0-3. Even safety John Johnson III, who returned to the Rams roster this season, is struggling to make any sort of positive impact.
Since the Rams parted ways with Darrell Henderson Jr, he has struggled to catch on with another NFL team. In fact, he has signed on with the XFL Arlington Renegades. Since any opportunity that the LA Rams may offer Henderson is only temporary in nature, it may not make good business sense for Henderson to give the Rams any time of day.
Finally, the Rams released Henderson in the midst of the 2022 NFL season. Whether motivated for the right reasons or not, Henderson may view the Rams as unauthentic, and may consider ties to the Rams burned.
Why Rams should re-sign RB Darrell Henderson Jr.
Of course, necessity is the mother of invention, and the LA Rams may view a need to add an additional running back as a top priority under the current circumstances. If that is the case, the need for the Rams roster takes a higher priority to sign an immediate impact player to the Rams roster, and Darrell Henderson Jr.'s recent history with the Rams would make him an ideal option for the team.
The Rams are likely trying to fill a smaller running back role that was held by RB Ronnie Rivers. As such, Darrell Henderson Jr. does have a similar style, and complements the Rams offense by offering an option to run with the football as well as serve as a receiver.
Finally, the Rams do not have the time to bring a running back up to speed in time to help the Rams out before Ronnie Rivers is healthy enough to return. Do the Rams roll the dice and assume the risk of not adding a running back? Or do the Rams try to reunite with a former rusher?
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