With starting running back Darrell Henderson’s availability to be a game-time decision and third-stringer Buddy Howell being placed on the injured reserve list, the Rams were not sure if they’d have to rely on Sony Michel as their sole ball carrier in today’s match up with the Jacksonville Jaguars. But Jay Glazer reported on Sunday morning that Henderson will be active against the Jaguars, though Michel will be the main ball-carrier.
.@JayGlazer just now: "Darrell Henderson, didn't look like he was going to go, game-time decision. However, the Rams are expecting him to actually be available, but not be the feature back, that goes to Sony Michel."— John Paulsen (@4for4_John) December 5, 2021
In a normal situation, this should be a get-right game for the Rams rushing attack. The Jags have a season average of allowing 29 carries and 116 yards per game, but LA’s running back unit is suddenly thin.
The LA Rams’ running game has averaged 18 carries and 70 yards in their last three games, all losses.
It seems logical that Michel would be able to handle that workload. He’s a tough, north-south runner who can catch passes and a willing blocker. It is fair to compare his skill-set with ex-Ram Malcom Brown, Michel is a little more dynamic, but hasn’t shown it in Los Angeles.
Michel was acquired before the Rams season opener to bolster a unit that had lost their top back, Cam Akers to injury and his replacement, Henderson, who has a history of battling minor injuries.
Michel’s carries per game steadily picked up, with a high of 20 versus Tampa Bay, until an untimely fumble in the Arizona Cardinal loss. He’s been frozen out since, garnering about seven carries per game.
For today’s game, LA has activated the recently signed Mekhi Sargent off the practice squad. Sargent is cut from the same cloth as Michel, a bruiser who can grind out the tough yardage.
LA Rams Transactions:— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 4, 2021
• Reserve/Injured RB Buddy Howell
• Activated, from Practice Squad WR Brandon Powell
• Activated, from Practice Squad RB Mekhi Sargent
Returner/wide receiver Brandon Powell was activated as well. He could get a look on kickoff returns.
Will the Rams pass it 50 times or will they use use Michel to pound a team that is in the bottom five of rushing defense?