ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter was the first to report that the Rams surprisingly waived running back Darrell Henderson Jr.
The reason this is so shocking is that Henderson was named the starter after rumors sprouted up that Los Angeles was shopping Cam Akers at the trade deadline. When no deal occurred, the Rams brought Akers back into the fold and seemingly chose to move on from Henderson instead.
Analyst Pushes Chiefs to Claim Rams Castoff in Week 12
You might be wondering where the Chiefs come into all this — aside from playing the Rams this weekend. After the news dropped that Henderson got cut, USA Today media member Charles Goldman suggested that Kansas City might put in a claim for the running back during an article with Chiefs Wire.
“Last week, the Chiefs were among the four teams to attempt to claim former Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin on waivers,” Goldman reasoned. “They were unsuccessful in their attempt, which came before Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 11. Heading into Week 12, Kansas City will have some options to weigh at the running back position.”
Those options from Goldman include giving Ronald Jones II a chance, or going after a recent cut like Henderson or veteran Melvin Gordon.
“I expect the Chiefs to avoid Gordon, despite his relative success playing Kansas City in recent years,” Goldman continued, ruling out the former rival. “He has 26 fumbles in 108 NFL starts across his career with the [Los Angeles] Chargers and [Denver] Broncos. That basically amounts to having a fumble in a fourth of his NFL starts. Andy Reid doesn’t stand for turnovers, so I’d expect that Gordon will be out of the running for the Chiefs.”
He did, however, push KC to look into the Rams castoff, noting why he makes much more sense for the Chiefs than Gordon.
“Rams Wire’s Cam DaSilva described Henderson as ‘a good one-cut guy who is also a very capable receiver.’ Sounds familiar?” Goldman voiced. “That’s because Henderson’s skill set is similar to that of Edwards-Helaire. He also has experience as a third-down back, working as a pass blocker. He has two pressures allowed this season, including one sack in 39 pass-blocking snaps according to PFF. As a receiver out of the backfield, Henderson has 66 receptions for nearly 500 yards and four touchdowns in his career. He only played special teams as a rookie, with 36 total snaps in 2019, including three kicks returned for 58 yards.”
The major difference between Benjamin and Henderson is that the former is a kick return specialist and Kansas City needed a new returner at the time — and still does. The latter hasn’t taken any live reps in that role since his rookie campaign.
Of course, a stint on the injured reserve for “CEH” could change the Chiefs’ perspective at running back. This is also a waiver claim situation, and KC has one of the lowest claims in the league. Even if they do make an attempt for Henderson, they may not get him.
Either way, we’ll know the answer to this question by tomorrow.
Ronald Jones Could Finally Get His Shot
Even if the Chiefs attempt to claim Henderson, he probably wouldn’t be ready to play in Week 12 — meaning “RoJo” should be active for the first time against the Rams.
It’s been a long time coming for the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter and barring something unforeseen, that day is finally upon us. Even with Isiah Pacheco firmly entrenched as the early-down back and Jerick McKinnon entrenched in the third-down role, Jones would likely spell the pair at some point.
He may not get too many opportunities if he does indeed play on Sunday, so he’ll have to make the most of them. At the same time, a successful waiver claim would surely impact Jones’ faith in the organization eventually trusting him to take on a role in the offense.
The Chiefs also have one more running back currently on the practice squad in former New York Giants draft pick, Wayne Gallman, as well as RB/WR convert Jerrion Ealy.