The Los Angeles Rams were dealt a major blow to head coach Sean McVay’s offense after losing Cam Akers for the 2021 NFL season with a torn Achilles.
There was some concern regarding the lack of depth in the backfield with Darrell Henderson Jr. as the only proven option on the roster. The preseason produced running back Jake Funk as the No. 3 option on the depth chart as his emergence made way for their acquisition of running back Sony Michel.
Michel provides some much-needed experience to this otherwise thing group. Regardless, it appears the pecking order is set in stone.
McVay opened up about the state of the backfield and revealed that while Henderson will likely serve as the primary option, fans can expect to see Michel and Funk take some snaps, via ESPN LA:
“You can expect to see all three (Hendo, Michel, Funk) of those guys at some point. Who ends up playing the majority of snaps is TBD, but Darrell will start us off and lead the way and we’ll see how those other two guys supplement him.”
McVay’s plans to have Henderson lead the way was largely expected. He boasts the kind of versatile skill set that is needed in order to thrive in his offense as both a runner and pass-catcher out of the backfield.
Despite Henderson’s talent, injuries have been a bit of an issue in the past and the Rams cannot afford to have a significant drop-off in the run game. Since it is a long season in which the Rams expect to compete in the playoffs, they will need their other options to step up and help lighten the load.
McVay’s comments indicate that even though Henderson is the lead back, the No. 2 job could still be up in the air.
Even if he is a rookie, Funk may have the edge for the time being. He had the benefit of spending an entire offseason learning the playbook and garnered some quality reps throughout the preseason.
However, McVay noted that he is impressed with the strides Michel has made with learning the scheme since his arrival. His efforts in knocking out the crash course on the offense will provide him with a few opportunities versus the Chicago Bears in Week 1.