Rams activate Isaiah Pead

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams made a roster move to free up space for Isaiah Pead's return from a suspension, giving them five running backs on the roster. The question now is where Pead fits into the puzzle.

The St. Louis Rams made a roster move Tuesday afternoon. Undrafted rookie linebacker Jonathan Stewart was released to make room for running back Isaiah Pead, who is returning from his one-game suspension.

Stewart was inactive for last week's opener against the Cardinals. The Rams spent most of the day in the nickel defense which cuts down on the need for linebackers anyway. It's not particularly surprising that one of the three undrafted rookie linebackers. There's a good chance that Stewart lands on the practice squad. The Rams released Darren Woodard, a cornerback, from the practice squad on Tuesday as well.

The more curious situation is now at running back where the Rams have five players at that position on the roster. Pead joins Daryl Richardson, Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham and Chase Reynolds.

Cunningham and Reynolds are essential special teams players. In fact, Cunningham is still listed as the team's starting kick returner, a job that Isaiah Pead tried out for during a so-so preseason.

Stacy only had one carry against Arizona last week, a four-yard power run through the middle for a first down that kept a second-quarter scoring drive moving. Richardson led the way with 20 carries, but his numbers only added up to 63 yards and an underwhelming average of 3.2 yards per carry.

The run blocking against a tough Arizona front explains some of the Rams' underwhelming run game. But the team will need more from Richardson if he's going to hang onto his top back status.

Pead is listed as the second back on the depth chart. The Rams don't put much weight on the depth chart, so whether or not Pead actually has the No. 2 job remains to be seen.

Will Pead get carries this week against Atlanta? Or will he have to wait another week if Richardson is disappointing again? Stacy looks like the guy destined to takeover the bulk of the running duties, but this rotation is very much in flux.

If Pead can't establish himself, his time with the Rams may be nearing an end.

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