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Rams search for backup runners

Sounds like the coach is a little ticked off at Steven Jackson after the running back pronounced himself ready to play in Sunday's game. Turned out, he wasn't quite ready, so much so that according to Bill Coats in his Around the Horns post (linked above) that Jackson had to recuse himself from the first play of the game. Didn't you think it odd that Pittman carried the ball first? Yeah, that explains it.

Now, with the Rams suddenly beleaguered with injuries again, Jackson is day-to-day and will have to practice at full speed tomorrow through Friday. 

Because of that and injuries to Pittman and Minor, the Rams could potentially have jsut one running back for week 10 against the Jets...or could they? One possibility to play with Kenneth Darby is training camp sensation and current Atlanta Falcons practice squad member, Lance Ball. 

Now the gap between preseason performance and week 10 is wide, but way back in early September we looked at the performance of Ball and Pittman through the lens of an article linking running back preseason performance with regular season success. The gist of it went: running backs averaging a preseason yards per carry exceeding 3.94 more often than not went on to regular season success. Lance Ball, the somewhat nontraditional running back out of Maryland, rushed 31 times for the Rams in a memorable preseason performance for an average of 4.4 yards per carry. 

Darby, with the Bucs for preseason in 2007, rushed 33 times for 4.1 YPC; this year in the preseason he rushed 32 times for 3.2 YPC. 

Like we've said before, nobody matches what Steven Jackson brings to the field when healthy. However, there is at least potential there in Darby and Ball. I for one, am curious to see what Ball could do after watching him in August. 

They still have to get some blocking from the Rams line, so don't expect a miracle.