It's believed that Darrell Henderson will be the primary backup to Cam Akers in the Rams run game this season. Given the chance to lead the ground game early last season, Henderson came through with 18-plus PPR points in three of his first five games. After that, however, he had 10-plus PPR points once and finished the season on injured reserve. He's played more than 50% of the snaps in two career games and just doesn't seem to have the backing of his coaching staff, especially now that Akers has been given a lot of playing time and done well with it. At best, Henderson is a late-round pick on the chance he finds a way to replace Akers during the season.
Coach Sean McVay believes Henderson (undisclosed) is an every-down back, noting that durability is the concern, not talent, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic reports. A split workload would be one way to help Henderson stay healthy now that Cam Akers (Achilles) is out for the season, but a three-down role also is possible, especially if the Rams more or less stick with their current group of young, unproven running backs. As a 2019 third-round pick with 197 career touches in 28 games, Henderson is easily the most experienced and pedigreed of the group, which otherwise consists of Xavier Jones, Jake Funk, Raymond Calais and Otis Anderson. McVay said the Rams aren't in the market for a veteran running back, but he easily could change his mind once training camp is underway, especially if Henderson struggles or gets banged up again. Henderson did miss a portion of the offseason program with an undisclosed injury, after finishing last year on IR with a high-ankle sprain.
Henderson (undisclosed) is set for a larger role after teammate Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles on Monday, though the Rams could also make a move to add backfield help, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic reports. Akers and Henderson both had their moments last season, but it was the former who finished strong while second-year back Henderson ended his season on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain, the same injury that brought his rookie campaign to an early end (albeit to the other leg). There was no report of surgery after the more recent injury, though Henderson did miss part of June minicamp with an undisclosed issue. The 2019 third-round pick now enters his third pro season with a huge opportunity, heading a backfield where the other players are either seventh-round picks (Raymond Calais, Jake Funk) or undrafted free agents (Xavier Jones, Otis Anderson). Of course, the Rams will also look into external options to upgrade their backfield, considering Henderson's durability is a question mark even if they believe in his talent. Akers, meanwhile, will focus on returning to health for 2022.
An unspecified injury limited Henderson's participation in the Rams' offseason program, ESPN.com's Lindsey Thiry reports. After suffering a high-ankle sprain in Week 16 last season, Henderson missed the regular-season finale and the playoffs. He should've had plenty of time to make a full recovery during the offseason, but it's nonetheless possible his limitations at practice are related to the same issue. Henderson is a clear favorite for the No. 2 spot behind Cam Akers in the Rams' backfield, especially after Malcolm Brown signed with Miami this spring. The depth chart otherwise consists of young players with minimal NFL experience -- and all were either seventh-round picks (Jake Funk, Raymond Calais) or undrafted (Xavier Jones, Otis Anderson).
Henderson is expected to slot into a complementary role behind No. 1 running back Cam Akers this season, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic reports. After an underwhelming rookie campaign, Henderson made a notable impact last season. He piled up 405 rushing yards and 109 receiving yards through a six-game stretch, showcasing his fantasy upside and proving he can handle a modest workload. However, it was a short-lived run, as 2020 second-round selection Cam Akers got healthy and proceeded to take over as the lead back for the Rams down the stretch and in the playoffs. Even with Akers poised to handle the majority of work out of the backfield again in 2021, Henderson should still be involved, and he could again be a go-to fantasy option if Akers were ever to miss time. Additionally, while the Rams could bolster the position in the upcoming NFL Draft or through free agency, Los Angeles likely has more pressing needs.
Henderson rushed 138 times for 624 yards and five touchdowns and caught 16 passes for 159 yards and another score through 15 games during the 2020 regular season. He sustained a season-ending, high-ankle sprain in Week 16. The Rams were expected to utilize a committee rushing attack to start the season with Henderson having a significant role. Rookie Cam Akers sustained a rib injury in training camp, and after veteran Malcolm Brown handled the lead role in Week 1, Henderson ascended to the top of the depth chart and accumulated 405 rushing yards and 109 receiving yards over the next six games. Akers got healthy, though, and the committee approach returned until the rookie proved to be the superior talent in Week 12. Akers piled up 645 rushing yards and 147 receiving yards through Los Angeles' final seven games, including the playoffs. Still, Henderson projects to have a role next season. Brown is a free agent, and even with Akers likely locked into a hefty workload, Henderson's too talented and athletic to be uninvolved in the offense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/26||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1||12.30|
|6||10/17||@New York Giants||17||17.50|
|10||11/15||@San Francisco 49ers||7||14.75|
|12||11/28||@Green Bay Packers||27||20.33|
|18||01/09||San Francisco 49ers||7||14.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||88||386||2||10||98||0||59|