OCTOBER 22: The Rams are expected to give the majority of the workload to Freeman and Henderson in today’s matchup against the Steelers, per Schefter. Evans will get some touches, while Gaskin is likely to be a healthy scratch (though the plan is for him to be active for the club’s Week 8 bout with the Cowboys).
Each player’s performance in today’s game will help determine how McVay divvies up the work until Williams returns from IR. None of the current backs, however, are expected to dominate touches the way that Williams did, as McVay plans to distribute the opportunities more evenly. In a disappointing development for fantasy coaches, a more equitable distribution could continue even when Williams is activated.
OCTOBER 21: Williams is headed to injured reserve, the Rams announced on Saturday. That move means he and Rivers will be shut down until at least Week 12. Henderson, to no surprise, has indeed been promoted to the active roster, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes he is expected to suit up tomorrow. Henderson could have a notable workload available in the short- and intermediate-term future given how banged up the Rams’ backfield has suddenly become.
OCTOBER 20: Henderson’s ramp-up period will be short. The Rams are planning make their former starter a gameday elevation, McVay said Friday. Teams can elevate two practice squad players each week. Henderson will join Evans, Freeman and Gaskin in this reconfigured RB mix. Introducing obvious complications for deeper-league fantasy GMs eyeing this backfield, McVay said, “all four of those guys are possibilities” to contribute. McVay did stop short of indicating all four would be active, pointing to one of the new additions potentially being a healthy scratch.
Henderson has not played in a game since Week 11 of last season. The Rams waived him soon after, and although the Jaguars made a claim, they parted ways with the former third-round pick. He of two 600-plus-yard rushing seasons, Henderson will be back in action Sunday.
OCTOBER 18: The Rams’ running back corps will look much different in Week 7 compared to how the situation looked to start the season or even in last week’s Cardinals matchup. As expected, Ronnie Rivers is heading to IR. But Kyren Williams is not expected back soon.
Los Angeles’ starting back is expected to miss multiple games because of the ankle injury he sustained in Week 6, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler tweets. Williams suffered a sprain during his career-high rushing day. Sean McVay confirmed Williams will miss Sunday’s matchup but did not rule out the second-year back going on IR, though The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue notes the team will not make that decision today.
Coming out of training camp, the Rams rostered Williams and Rivers behind expected starter Cam Akers. Sixth-round pick Zach Evans rounded out the group. After Williams operated as Los Angeles’ starter to open the season, the team went back to the healthy-scratch well with Akers but moved him this time. Following the Williams and Rivers setbacks, Evans is the only healthy option left among the Rams’ originals.
The team brought in reinforcements this week. Royce Freeman, who has worked as a gameday elevation in three games this season, is now on L.A.’s 53-man roster. So is Myles Gaskin, who spent time with ex-McVay OC Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota to start this season. The Rams signed the ex-Dolphins starter off the Vikings’ practice squad. Darrell Henderson is back with the Rams as well, though the former starter is on their P-squad. Teams have regularly used the taxi squad as a bridge for veterans to return to an active roster, so Henderson’s status will be worth monitoring given his knowledge of McVay’s system.
Rivers will be out until at least Week 12, with the Rams’ bye coming in Week 10. The 2022 UDFA suffered a PCL sprain Sunday. Williams is not a lock to return before the bye, per Fowler, though he adds the Notre Dame product should be back by Week 11 at the latest. Still, a three-game absence would certainly cut into Williams’ rookie-year performance. The 2022 fifth-round pick had showed quality form in his first games as the starter, dominating backfield snaps and touches. He finished with 158 rushing yards — 154 of those in the second half — in the Rams’ come-from-behind win over the Cardinals.