Isaiah Pead has yet to realize the raw talent the St. Louis Rams saw when the team used one of three second-round picks to select the Cincinnati product last year. That one year of experience, all 10 rushing attempts, might be the only thing keeping his roster spot safe at the moment.
Jim Thomas dropped this nugget during during his Tuesday chat at the Post-Dispatch web site:
I think if guys like Stacy and Cunningham or even Ganaway were more established _ or in the case of the rookies, established in any sense _ it would be easier to put Pead on the bubble. I think he's still the probable No. 2 back, at least early in the season. (Obviously he won't play in the opener.)
Beyond Daryl Richardson, none of the Rams backs have done much to separate themselves in two preseason games. In an extremely small sample size, only Richardson is averaging more than 4 yards per carry. But the preseason isn't over.
Ganaway has virtually disappeared in training camp this year, as well as the preseason. He's yet to record a single carry. In his place, undrafted free agent surprise Benny Cunningham is getting the chance to establish himself. The Middle Tennessee State product has been outstanding in practices. In the Rams' two preseason games, he's been more pedestrian, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry against second- and third-team defenses.
Zac Stacy missed last week's game against the Packers. He returned to the practice field this week, getting a heavy load with the starters on Tuesday. Based on the looks of things, the fifth-round pick should get an extended trial in this week's game.
Either one of those two could still make the case to supplant Pead. As the No. 2 running back on the roster, though Pead's pass blocking could keep him in the game day lineup, unless someone else establishes themselves in that role. Stacy, a power runner who works best between the tackles, makes the most sense as a complementary back.
And don't discount Pead. He also figures to get his chances to prove himself with two games left to play. The race isn't over yet.