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St. Louis Rams depth chart 2013: Daryl Richardson starting versus Browns

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Is there a front-runner in the Rams' running back race?

Daniel Doelling

Do the St. Louis Rams have a starting running back? Kind of, if only by default.

Following Tuesday's practice, head coach Jeff Fisher gave an early nod to Daryl Richardson. But it mostly had to do with his status as an incumbent.

"I think Daryl comes back as our starter because he played significantly more last year than anybody," Fisher said.

Richardson is the most senior, most accomplished running back on the roster. He ran for 475 yards on 98 carries as a rookie last year. The Abilene Christian product has a knack for straight ahead running, no dancing behind the line. He has a nice second gear that he doesn't get enough credit for too.

Isaiah Pead, the other second-year running back on the roster, will get some looks too. Fisher put him a close second in the horse race.

But the competition is wide open.

"And you've got the rest of the guys that are just going to battle it out," Fisher said. "We haven't ruled anybody out from that matter. But we're going to try to get as many carries as we can."

There are a half dozen players all in need of reps, and only so many to go around in Thursday's preseason opener in Cleveland, as well as the other three preseason games. Figuring out the distribution of those reps adds another layer to the coaches' preseason workload.

"You just have to sit down and give it some thought," Fisher said. "Out of fairness to them, you want them all to have an opportunity to run behind the first line because that's a fair evaluation - and run against good opponents. So, we're going to have to work that out the best we can."