Darrell Henderson

Rams Move Tyler Higbee, Joe Noteboom To IR; Darrell Henderson, Sebastian Joseph-Day Back On Roster

The Rams are on track to see some familiar faces in uniform Sunday. The anticipated activations of Darrell Henderson and Sebastian Joseph-Day took place Friday.

But the NFC champions are now certain to be without Tyler Higbee and backup offensive lineman Joe Noteboom. The Rams placed both on IR to make room for Henderson and Joseph-Day. The sprained MCL Higbee suffered in the NFC championship game prevented him from practicing this week.

While the Bengals are likely to see C.J. Uzomah return to action after his championship-round injury, the Rams will be forced to use backups. Kendall Blanton and second-year cog Brycen Hopkins are the only other active-roster tight ends for Los Angeles. The former made key contributions against the 49ers, catching five passes for 57 yards. This came after Blanton scored a touchdown against the Buccaneers. Higbee’s absence will move Blanton into a key auxiliary role in the passing game.

This would have been Higbee’s second Super Bowl. He played against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII but did not catch a pass. This season, the Rams turned to Higbee more frequently, having let Gerald Everett walk in free agency. Higbee finished with 61 receptions for 560 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Noteboom has served as Andrew Whitworth‘s backup for the past two seasons. He stepped in for the 40-year-old left tackle starter against the Bucs but did not play in the NFC championship game. A chest injury will wrap Noteboom’s season early. A 2018 third-round pick, Noteboom is set to be a free agent next month. Whitworth returned for the 49ers matchup and will make his Super Bowl debut Sunday.

Henderson also suffered an MCL sprain and has not played since Week 16. While the third-year running back started for most of this season, his role almost certainly will be minimized upon return. Sony Michel had begun to eat into Henderson’s workload late in the season, and Cam Akers has since made his return to action. Still, the Rams will soon have a deep backfield for Super Bowl LVI. It will be the first time Henderson, Akers and Michel will each be available.

Joseph-Day has not played since Week 7, having suffered a chest injury that required surgery. The third-year interior D-lineman has been a Rams starter for most of his career. Prior to going down in October, Joseph-Day had registered a career-high three sacks. This stands to bolster L.A.’s depth up front and present an embattled Bengals offensive line with another challenge.

Darrell Henderson, Sebastian Joseph-Day Likely To Return For Super Bowl?

Two Rams regulars are perhaps ready to re-emerge come Super Bowl Sunday. Sean McVay is optimistic both Darrell Henderson and Sebastian Joseph-Day will suit up against the Bengals.

Joseph-Day has been a Rams starter since his career began, but the third-year defensive lineman has been out since Week 7 because of a chest injury. Joseph-Day underwent surgery in November but returned to practice before the Rams’ divisional-round game.

Henderson, Joseph-Day and cornerback Robert Rochell returned to practice Jan. 21. The trio must be activated from IR by Friday in order to play in Super Bowl LVI.

Joseph-Day tallied a career-high three sacks in his seven-game season. The interior defensive lineman being in uniform Sunday would certainly be a bonus for a Rams team that is largely healthy going into the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl opportunity.

Los Angeles’ starting running back for much of this season, Henderson sustained an MCL sprain in Week 16 against the Vikings. Sony Michel had cut into Henderson’s workload, and Cam Akers made a quicker-than-expected return from his July Achilles tear. Still, the Rams having Henderson available would help their cause. The third-year back averaged a career-high 4.6 yards per carry this season, rushing for 688 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/22/22

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Los Angeles Rams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rams To Place RB Darrell Henderson, LB Ernest Jones On IR

Darrell Henderson is heading to the IR. The Rams running back suffered an MCL sprain that will require a stint on the injured reserve, head coach Sean McVay told reporters (via Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic on Twitter).

After seeing significantly more playing time during his second season in the NFL, Henderson was expected to be a workhorse for the Rams in 2021. The 24-year-old has been productive in his 12 games (10 starts), collecting 864 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns on 178 touches.

However, Henderson seemed to be behind Sony Michel on the depth chart once the former returned from his recent two-game absence. Michel saw time on 73 percent of his team’s offensive snaps in Week 15, while Henderson only played in 27 percent of the Rams’ offensive snaps. Henderson got into only five snaps yesterday before exiting with his injury. With Henderson out of the picture, Michel will likely continue to lead the depth chart, although the team could welcome back Cam Akers on Sunday. The 2020 second-round pick had 748 yards from scrimmage during his rookie campaign, but a torn Achilles has forced him to miss most of the 2021 season.

Linebacker Ernest Jones will also be placed on IR with a high ankle sprain, per Rodrigue (on Twitter). Jones will require surgery on the injury, but there’s a chance he returns for the playoffs. The rookie third-round pick has started seven of his 15 games this season, compiling 61 tackles, one sack, and two interceptions.

NFL COVID List Updates

We are trying our best here at Pro Football Rumors to keep up with all of the updates throughout the league concerning players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. A lot of teams had high hopes during today’s testing as they were trying to get players activated in time for Sunday’s slate of games.

Here are updates as of 8:30 PM ET, Sat 12/18:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DT Eddie Goldman
  • OC Bill Lazor, DC Sean Desai, STC Chris Tabor in COVID-19 protocols

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB P.J. Locke

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Four Coaches in COVID-19 protocols

New York Giants

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Rams Place Darrell Henderson On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Rams will be without their starting running back again in Week 14. Darrell Henderson is now on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

Henderson missed Los Angeles’ Week 13 contest because of a thigh injury, leading to a 121-yard Sony Michel performance. He returned to practice this week, getting in two limited sessions, but the Rams will again need to rely on their veteran backup for a pivotal Monday rematch against the Cardinals.

Bumped up to a clear-cut starting role after Cam Akers‘ July Achilles tear, Henderson has missed two games due to injury this season. This will mark another hurdle for the third-year back. In just 10 games, Henderson has already established new career-highs in scrimmage yards (820) and touchdowns (eight).

Michel arrived via trade following the Akers injury. The injury-prone former first-rounder has avoided the knee trouble that plagued his Patriots career, playing in all 12 Rams games this season. The fourth-year back delivered a season-best outing against the Jaguars, totaling 24 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown. The Rams, who endured a blowout loss to the Cardinals in Week 4, will need Michel to come through again this week.

Los Angeles also placed cornerback Robert Rochell on injured reserve. A five-game starter, the rookie fourth-rounder has played 31% of the Rams’ defensive snaps this season.

Injury Updates: Henderson, Chubb, Hasty

Some injury updates from around the NFL:

  • Rams running back Darrell Henderson has a rib cartilage injury, coach Sean McVay revealed today (via ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry on Twitter). The team will check in on Henderson again on Friday, and there’s optimism he’ll be able to play against the Buccaneers on Sunday. The 24-year-old has collected 169 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns through the first two weeks of the season. If Henderson is unable to play on Sunday, the team would likely turn to recent acquisition Sony Michel. The team is also rostering the likes of Jake Funk, Buddy Howell, and Javian Hawkins.
  • Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb aggravated an ankle injury on Sunday, but the team isn’t considering placing him on short-term IR (via Troy Renck of Denver7 on Twitter). The team is remaining flexible as they work through “some roster wrinkles.” Chubb’s ankle injury knocked him out of Denver’s Week 1 win, and the 2020 Pro Bowler collected one tackle on only 19 sacks on Sunday.
  • The 49ers‘ running back depth chart is already depleted, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has an update on one of the latest injured players (Twitter link). JaMycal Hasty suffered a high-ankle sprain on Sunday, and the 25-year-old is considered week-to-week. However, don’t expect to see Hasty on the field this weekend, as coach Kyle Shanahan said the running back is “for sure” out next Sunday night against the Packers (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). Through two games this season, Hasty collected 77 yards and one touchdown on 11 touches.
  • Texans wideout Nico Collins is out for the next three to four weeks, the team revealed today. The rookie wideout suffered a shoulder injury during yesterday’s loss to the Browns. The third-round rookie out of Michigan hauled in two catches for 39 yards through his first two games.

Rams Place Cooper Kupp On Reserve/COVID-19 List, Darrell Henderson On IR

The Rams continue to run into issues on offense ahead of a pivotal Week 17 game. Cooper Kupp‘s availability for the team’s regular-season-ending game against the Cardinals is now in doubt after the veteran wideout landed on the Rams’ reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday.

This designation does not mean Kupp is out for Sunday’s game. If the fourth-year receiver did not test positive for the coronavirus, he would be on track to return this week. If Kupp did contract the virus, he cannot play in Week 17.

Kupp’s now-murky status, however, comes at a time when the Rams are reeling on offense. They are set to be without Jared Goff due to injury for the first time, with Alliance of American Football refugee John Wolford in line to start Sunday. Darrell Henderson is now on IR, according to the team, and Cam Akers‘ status — after missing Week 16 with a high ankle sprain — may be iffy at best given his injury. The Rams, who have lost two straight to put them in danger of missing the playoffs, have also been without Andrew Whitworth for several weeks.

Kupp has not missed a game since suffering a torn ACL midway through the 2018 season. He needs 26 yards for his second career 1,000-yard season. The Rams gave Kupp and Robert Woods extensions this year, committing to the duo after trading Brandin Cooks. With the team needing a win or a Bears loss to ensure playoff qualification, Kupp’s status certainly will be a key matter for the team this week.

Henderson followed Akers in encountering ankle trouble. Unless the Rams make a run to the NFC championship game, Henderson will not be able to return until next season. Although Akers surpassed him in Los Angeles’ backfield pecking order late this season, Henderson started against the Seahawks and leads the team with 624 rushing yards.

Rams’ Darrell Henderson Suffers Ankle Injury

The Rams could be down two running backs when they face the Cardinals on Sunday. Darrell Henderson‘s ankle injury could keep him out of the critical Week 17 game, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (on Twitter).

The Rams had much of the running game on Henderson’s shoulders against the Seahawks as Cam Akers was sidelined with an ankle injury of his own. Then, he was forced out in the third quarter on a goal line carry. Henderson’s leg bent awkwardly as Jamal Adams took him to the ground and the Rams now must wait for tests to see how his ankle responds.

Henderson finished his day with 12 carries for 62 yards, bringing his season tally to 624 yards rushing and 4.5 yards per carry. Along the way, he’s also scored five rushing TDs plus a 16/159/1 receiving line. Akers, the second-round rookie sensation out of Florida State, has been even more effective for the Rams. In 12 games, he’s got 4.8 yards per carry plus three all-purpose TDs.

After dropping two straight, the Rams can still control their destiny with a win over the Cardinals. Alternatively, they can still reach the playoffs if they lose, but they’ll need the Bears to do the same against the Packers.

West Rumors: Raiders, Henderson, Broncos

Tyrell Williams dealt with injuries to both of his feet last season, missing time because of it. The maladies took a while to recover from this offseason, but the veteran Raiders wideout believes he has nearly surmounted the nagging problems.

Shoot, it’s been a long offseason with my feet,” Williams said, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). “I did two months after the season of just rehab and resting them. It was still taking a long time and I started getting pretty discouraged, but … um, about two months ago, I finally got over the hump and my feet have been feeling good. I still feel it a little bit, but compared to what I had … it’s nothing compared to what I was going through during the season.”

Williams missed two games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot but said his left foot became a discomfort source after he returned. The second-year Raider then dealt with pain in both feet the rest of the way. Williams still averaged 15.5 yards per catch, but the Raiders drafted two wideouts and a gadget player (Lynn Bowden Jr.) in the first three rounds. The Raiders guaranteed Williams’ $11MM base salary earlier this year, but the ex-Charger has no guaranteed money on his deal beyond 2020.

Here is more injury news from the Raiders’ receiving corps and the latest from the rest of the Wests:

  • Las Vegas first-round pick Henry Ruggs suffered an injury helping a friend move last month but is expected to be ready for camp. While the Raiders’ newest speed merchant received stitches, he sustained no muscular damage, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Around six weeks remain until rookies report for camps.
  • The Rams are beginning a new era at running back, having cut five-year starter Todd Gurley. Darrell Henderson will be one of the players vying for the starting job. The second-year back, however, underwent ankle surgery this offseason, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets. This issue may be behind him, with Rodrigue adding that Henderson has already participated in multiple Jared Goff-conducted throwing sessions (Twitter link). Henderson, Malcolm Brown and rookie second-rounder Cam Akers represent the top options in Los Angeles’ backfield.
  • The Broncos‘ backfield has two primary options, but it’s perhaps just as muddled. Given a two-year, $16MM contract, Melvin Gordon is in line to take Phillip Lindsay‘s starting job despite the latter’s back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. New Denver OC Pat Shurmur was said to have pushed for a “bellcow” back like Gordon, but Denver’s new OC denied he did so on Thursday. “I think that (rumor) is a false narrative. I’m all for adding good players at every position. I feel like Phillip Lindsay is an outstanding player who we can hand the ball to, or throw the ball to. The fact that we have two running backs now who can be very explosive with the ball in their hands, whether they throw it or run it, is a good thing,” Shurmur said, via Denver7’s Troy Renck. “You need more than one running back. … The whole ‘pounding the table’ narrative — listen, I’m the new guy here.”
  • While Lindsay showed promise as a pass catcher at Colorado, Gordon has been more productive as a pro in that area. Gordon’s $8MM-AAV deal and Lindsay’s $750K 2020 base salary would point to the former being ticketed for a change-of-pace role. Shurmur, however, said he envisions formations that will feature both Gordon and Lindsay, Renck tweets.