Record-Breaking Performer Reacts to Elevation With Rams: Exclusive

Ronnie Rivers

Getty Ronnie Rivers during the 2022 NFL Combine on March 4, 2022.

The Los Angeles Rams have given someone a roster promotion for Sunday, October 16.

And the decision comes in the wake of Cam Akers being ruled out of the lineup against the Carolina Panthers due to personal reasons. But now, a past record-breaker from north of the “Rams House” is getting his shot to assist in handing carries or catches for Sean McVay and company: Ronnie Rivers out of Fresno State.

And in a one-one-exclusive with Heavy, Rivers spoke about getting his big break NFL moment.

Rivers Went Through ‘Humbling Experience’

One month ago, Rivers experienced boredom.

“Shoot, four weeks ago I was at the crib,” Rivers told Heavy. “Just being able to come in and have this opportunity, it means a lot and I’m super grateful.”

Rivers, for the first time during his offseason, was wondering where he would suit up next. He had already gotten used to the grind of triple digit heat in California’s San Joaquin Valley and being a cornerstone for the Fresno State Bulldogs.

The last time Rivers saw extensive action in the backfield, he went on to rewrite the record books at a place that’s produced a lineage of NFL runners on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Bulldog Lane. Rivers eventually went on to break the school’s all-time touchdown mark on this play versus the University of Connecticut in the season opener of the 2021 season:

Rivers went on to deliver a celebrated career in the 559 with 3,417 rushing yards, 40 ground-based touchdowns and added 1,417 yards and 11 more scores through the air. But again, the anxieties kicked in while Rivers was in the Bay Area.

“It was definitely a humbling experience,” Rivers said. “Coming from college and being the guy and then, you know, getting to the NFL and this is my third team already. So it was a humbling experience and it just makes you appreciate everything.”

Rivers was on pins and needles wondering who would add him.

“You never know when you’re going to get that call,” Rivers said. “[For me] just staying on top of everything you’re doing from working out to conditioning so that when you do get that opportunity to be somewhere, you’re ready to go.”

Lucky for Rivers, he’s playing for an offensive minded head coach in McVay. It just so happens his college stop was an atmosphere similar to the Rams’ structure.

“I would say it’s pretty much the same in terms of how the coaches treat you and how it is in the locker room, plus the camaraderie around the whole team, I would say it’s the same,” Rivers said.

McVay Describes Rivers’ Game as a RB

With Akers being away from the team due to what McVay described as a personal issue, McVay and the Rams decided to elevate Rivers to the active roster to fill the void.

“We’ll have Ronnie Rivers as a flex up,” McVay said.

Rivers is on his third NFC West stop. He was first added onto the Arizona Cardinals’ roster following the 2022 NFL Draft before making his way to the Seattle Seahawks and their practice squad. But now, the 23-year-old and son of former NFL running back Ron Rivers will be on a Sunday active roster for the first time in his young pro career.

Though the 5-foot-9, 195-pounder didn’t hear his name called during the draft, McVay raved about the kind of plays Rivers is capable of.

“I think he’s a dynamic playmaker,” McVay said. “He’s got great contact balance, a good ability to be able to see and be able to navigate through traffic while being able to set up his blockers. He’s got a good feel in the pass game. A lot of that stuff that I’ve seen going back to Fresno or even just looking at him on the field here has been encouraging.”

Does he believe Rivers is more than ready to answer the call if the Rams need a spark in the backfield?

“There’s nothing quite like seeing those lights turn on and you’re playing NFL football. If he does get a couple of opportunities, looking forward to seeing him do his thing,” McVay said.

He’s not the only one who is looking forward to seeing what Rivers can do in an NFL setting. Darrell Henderson, the projected RB1 for Sunday, is another who gave a brief scouting report of the newest elevated Ram — and gave a telling prediction to fans.

“He’s explosive. He’s got a low center of gravity and he runs hard. He’s got good hands too. I’m ready to see what he does Sunday and I think the people are going to love what they see,” Henderson said.

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