The Los Angeles Rams go into their Week 7 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a huge question mark at running back after both Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers got injured in the Week 6 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Williams suffered an ankle injury while Rivers hurt his knee and both were placed on injured reserve this week, which means they will be out until at least Week 12.
In their absence, the Rams will be going with a committee at the running back position. They have rookie Zach Evans that has been on the active roster all season, and additionally, they have elevated Royce Freeman from the practice squad. They also signed Darrell Henderson to the practice squad, planning to elevate him for the Week 7 contest, while adding Myles Gaskin to the active roster off the Minnesota Vikings practice squad.
Rams head coach Sean McVay has been very coy about how he plans up to split up the carries between those four guys in Week 7 and beyond. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN though, the team does not yet have enough trust in Evans so the veterans Freeman and Henderson will lead the backfield against the Steelers as Gaskin continues to get acclimated in the offense:
With Kyren Williams on injured reserve and out the next four games, the Los Angeles Rams’ leading running backs Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to be Royce Freeman and Darrell Henderson , sources told ESPN.
Both running backs were promoted off the Rams’ practice squad this week.
Freeman and Henderson are expected to get, in the words of one source, “the majority of the workload” against the Steelers. Freeman is the likely starter, but that could change depending on how the Steelers line up. How Freeman and Henderson perform Sunday will help dictate who gets the work in the weeks ahead, with Williams out until Week 12 at Arizona.
Rams rookie running back Zach Evans — one of the most added players in fantasy football this past week — is expected to back up both Freeman and Henderson against the Steelers as he is still learning the offense and acclimating to the NFL game.
Additionally, while recently signed running back Myles Gaskin is likely to be inactive Sunday, he is expected to be active against the Dallas Cowboys next week as he continues to pick up the offense.
This doesn’t come as a huge surprise as McVay has always preferred to lean on veterans, especially at the running back position where pass protection is just as important as the ability to run the football.
While neither Freeman or Henderson is as explosive as Evans, they are definitely more steady and can provide the Rams with what they need to beat the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s pass defense has struggled this season, so look for Matthew Stafford to do a lot of his damage through the air to the likes of Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell to move in ball in Week 7.
Evans does have a lot of upside though, so it will be interesting to see if he gets any looks to show what he is capable of in hopes of getting more touches moving forward.