Update: The injury to Henderson is not considered to be serious and he is expected to be ready for Week 1. Sean McVay was not going to play Henderson in the final preseason game in any case.
#Rams RB Darrell Henderson, who left practice early with a thumb injury, did not suffer a major injury, source said. Just a slight sprain.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 24, 2021
LA Rams running back Darrell Henderson left practice on Monday with a reported thumb injury and did not return. Rams head coach Sean McVay had no further updates on Henderson’s status or if he would miss any important time due to the injury. Henderson is the third LA running back this year to suffer a reported injury, with the first two — Cam Akers and Raymond Calais — both out for the entire season.
Such a timeline for Henderson seems very unlikely due to a thumb injury but any issues at the running back position at this point have to be concerning for the Rams.
#Rams RB Darrell Henderson Jr. left today's practice with a thumb injury. He didn't return to practice, and the severity is unclear at this point. LA has been hammered by injuries at the RB position with Cam Akers (Achilles) and Raymond Calais (foot) going down for the season.— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) August 23, 2021
Henderson is the only active running back on the roster who has ever taken an offensive snap in the NFL. Backup Xavier Jones is in his second year after being a 2020 undrafted free agent, Jake Funk was a seventh round pick out of Maryland this year, and Otis Anderson, Jr. was an undrafted free agent out of UCF. The Rams have not added a running back since signing Anderson but it seems unavoidable now, even if Henderson is ready by Week 1.
His injury news — or any potential injury to him — leaves LA more thin at the position than perhaps any team in the league, and it’s not as though McVay’s offensive gameplan doesn’t rely on a strong running game or a talented running back. Things were at their best with Todd Gurley in 2017-2018, and with Akers in the stretch run for 2020.
McVay said earlier that the team hadn’t decided on if they should sign a running back, and that was just with the knowledge that Akers and Calais were out.
Sean McVay says the Rams haven't decided whether to sign a new RB or ride with Xavier Jones & Jake Funk as backups with Akers & Calais out: "We're still in the process of figuring all that out. We've got a little bit of time. I was pleased with both of those guys (last weekend)." pic.twitter.com/CHGr86kyrY— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) August 24, 2021