Last week, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay called the team “the healthiest they’ve been since the beginning of the season”, and this week the team may get even a little bit more healthy in the offensive backfield. McVay confirmed Monday to reporters that Kyren Williams is designated to return from IR and should be available when the Rams visit the Arizona Cardinals Sunday for the second of their divisional games.
Williams was original placed on IR after injuring his ankle in the first matchup between Los Angeles and Arizona. Williams had a great showing in the game before getting banged up, as he went for 158 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, averaging 7.9 yards per carry. LA will hope that Williams can replicate his play again vs the Cardinals.
Royce Freeman and Darrell Henderson have filled in admirably during Williams absence, but getting the second-year RB back in the lineup should be a big help in the run game. To put it in perspective, Williams still leads the team in rushing with 456 rushing yards on 97 carries, and his six rushing touchdowns also ranks him ninth overall in the NFL for all running backs, despite missing the last four games.
Kyren Williams— Chris O'Brien (@17gamepace) October 16, 2023
•21.8 points (RB3)
•RB3 on the week
Kyren continues to dominate snaps and touches for Ram’s RBs
He’s now finished as a top 7 RB in 67% of his games
This offensive boost could be needed though, as veteran wide receiver Cooper Kupp is considered day-to-day with an ankle injury he sustained vs Seattle, and may potentially miss Sunday’s game in Arizona.
However, if there’s a “glass half-full” way of looking at things, the Rams have been without Kupp for a section of this season already, as he was placed on IR during training camp for a hamstring injury and missed the first four games of the year. Despite his absence in those games, Los Angeles showed an ability to find success on offense without him - though it’s worth noting that in all of the games without Kupp, Williams was on the field.
The remaining schedule for the Rams is actually very favorable, outside of a Week 14 visit to the Baltimore Ravens and Week 18 season finale with the San Francisco 49ers, LA has the Cardinals, Browns, Commanders, Saints and Giants all on tap. Los Angeles could realistically get a playoff rally started with a win in Arizona Sunday. Even at 4-6, the Rams remains only two games out of a wild card position, and if the team can go something like 5-2 in these final seven games, they could have a real chance of getting in to post-season play.