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Sean McVay says he won't play Darrell Henderson during the preseason after Rams lost Cam Akers for season

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 7/27/2021 Jordan Dajani
a group of football players on the field © Provided by CBS Sports

The Los Angeles Rams unfortunately lost a very important piece of their offense right before training camp, as second-year running back Cam Akers went down with a torn Achilles tendon. Some think this could open up a huge opportunity for Darrell Henderson, but we will have to wait until the regular season to see Henderson at full speed as RB1. 

During a Monday press conference, Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters that Henderson will not play during the Rams' three preseason games, according to Pro Football Talk. Henderson figures to be the new starting running back for Los Angeles -- especially with Malcolm Brown gone. Last year in 15 games and 11 starts, he rushed for 624 yards and five touchdowns on 138 carries. His production hinged on whether Akers was in the starting lineup or not, as CBS Sports' Dave Richard pointed out in his fantasy reaction piece. When Akers got hurt in Week 2 and either sat out or was limited over the next five games, Henderson was the Rams' main guy and fared well. When Akers returned, however, Henderson turned into an afterthought. He hasn't played in 16 full games in two years, so Henderson is certainly getting the first-string treatment here in the preseason so that he can protect his body. But is McVay leaving the door open for another player to take serious reps away?


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The Rams running back depth chart is not going to blow anyone away. Behind Henderson figures to be Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais and the rookies Jake Funk and Otis Anderson. Jones took only special teams snaps last season, same for Calais, Funk was drafted in the seventh round and then Anderson was brought on as an undrafted free agent. In fact, Funk is the only player of the four who was actually drafted by the Rams. Los Angeles could always sign a veteran to come in and take over, but it sounds like McVay thinks his young players have potential. 

"We've got some young backs on our roster that I'm intrigued about seeing how they handle this opportunity," McVay said during an interview on ESPN Los Angeles. "I don't know that the veteran route is something that we'd rule out but it's not something we're immediately looking to address right now."

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