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The Rams need help at running back and Williams could be the player they’ve been waiting for
When the Los Angeles Rams played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, Darrell Henderson ripped off two nice gains of 10 yards and 23 yards in the third quarter, and for a moment it looked like maybe the Rams figured out their run game. We would quickly re-learn that they hadn’t, and L.A. would lose in heartbreaking fashion, due in part to not being able to run the ball effectively.
Bob Dylan, once interviewed by Time Magazine said, “But we all think we know things, alright, but we really know nothing.”
Many of us “knew” this running game and offense would be effective going into this year. Instead, a couple weeks ago Ronnie Rivers was the starting back because Darrell Henderson had the flu, Cam Akers seemed likely to be traded or cut, Malcolm Brown had been re-signed. The Rams offense, once highly regarded in all fantasy circles, had been and still is, a disappointment. The Rams missed out on Christian McCaffrey and didn’t trade for a RB at the deadline. One reason that the Rams didn’t make a trade, though they apparently were outbid by the Niners for McCaffrey, could be that Kyren Williams was and has been LA’s plan all along.
Rookie RB Kyren Williams did not play because he is regarded as an integral part of the plan for the season. Darrell Henderson ran at full speed for trainers and will participate in practice next week, McVay said. Cam Akers TBD, per McVay.
— Gary Klein (@LATimesklein) August 28, 2022
Before the Rams played the Buffalo Bills, to open the season, Adam Schefter had this to say,
“There’s a guy tonight that I would watch. We haven’t heard much about him at all this summer and we’ll see how much he factors in tonight. But the Rams have a rookie running back, Kyren Williams, that I think is worth watching tonight,” Schefter said. “Former draft pick from Notre Dame, someone that could figure in tonight, could figure in this season. Someone to monitor for fantasy teams I think going forward. And it’s somebody that the Rams like. He showed some things this summer. Sean McVay after the last preseason game talked about the fact that he was somebody that could contribute this year.”
Then Williams was hurt on what I’ve read was his only snap of the game and that lead to this:
RB Kyren Williams (ankle) and C Brian Allen (knee) having surgery today, per McVay. Williams expected to be sidelined 6-8 weeks, Allen 2-4, McVay said.
— Gary Klein (@LATimesklein) September 9, 2022
Here we are in Week 10.
Sean McVay said he thinks there’s a good chance rookie RB Kyren Williams will be activated this week.
— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) November 9, 2022
Whether Williams was the plan all along or just the player who the Rams need right now because of failed plans, I think every Rams fan is curious to see him make his debut and show what he can do at the NFL level. If he struggles, then the offense couldn’t do any worse at running the football anyway.
If he succeeds, then finally Sean McVay has some answers in the backfield.
Where the rubber meets the road.
The Rams are averaging just under 70 rushing yards per game. The Arizona Cardinals are giving up about 115 rushing yards per game. If either team wants to make a deep run, then I would guess the Rams want to see their rushing yards per game improve, and the Cardinals are going want to allow less than 100 rushing yards per game. Funnily enough, neither team has performed up to expectations. I think it is fair to say that both teams are underperforming in part due to both teams’ running back situations.
With the exception of Kyler Murray, neither franchise has found a great rusher, who can stay consistent, stay healthy and take over a game, yet.
In his final collegiate season, Kyren Williams averaged just over 83 rushing yards per game (12 games played), he tallied over 350 receiving yards that same season, to go along with 17 touchdowns. It’s cliché because it’s true, there is a reason they drafted this guy.
ESPN’s lists the dude at 5’9” 194 lbs. That doesn’t strike me as the biggest back, he’s not over 6 foot and 220lbs, but he may be stout, built and when you have leverage, that can compensate for size. I would guess that Kyren Williams, a player drafted in the NFL, understands leverage and how to use his body against a larger opponent. I am also sure that sometimes the bigger guy wins, but I digress, he showed enough in college to make this team want to take a chance on him. That means something.
It may not happen this week, it may not happen ever, but right now Williams seems to have a chance to standout amongst the other running backs on this team because know one has…(please forgive me) RUN away with this job.
Every NFL team has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Make no mistake, the Rams have been getting punched in the mouth, but maybe they’ve had a counter, and maybe it’s arriving at the perfect time. Let’s hope Kyren stays healthy. Let’s see what he can do, and hope the Rams rushing attack isn’t punched out just yet.