Sean McVay Points to Possible 2-Back Load Due to Injury

Darrell Henderson

Getty Darrell Henderson tries to break a tackle against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, September 19.

Darrell Henderson was so banged up from the Indianapolis Colts game, that Sony Michel came in to finish the backfield job “Hendo” started toward the end of the Los Angeles Rams‘ road victory.

Now, Rams head coach Sean McVay told the L.A. media on Monday, September 20, that while they want to be cautious with Henderson, this coming Sunday’s highly-anticipated showdown with the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers points to increased touches for the RB’s not named Henderson.

“You can definitely expect to see Sony (Michel) and Jake (Funk) possibility utilized more this week,” McVay said.

Henderson’s Status

McVay confirmed that Henderson suffered a rib cartilage injury in the 27-24 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium from Sunday, September 19, at Lucas Oil Stadium. The ex-New England Patriot Michel took control of the carries late and helped drive the Rams to the eventual final points of the game.

Despite the injury, McVay said “We’re going to be smart with him in the early parts of the week. But we’re hopeful and optimistic that we’ll see how he feels on Friday and in being ready to go.

“We want to give him as much time as possible to get as healthy as possible,” McVay continued. “This is something that if the pain subsides, then we will be confident to be able to utilize him.”

Unfortunately, Henderson’s injury adds to the litany of ailments he’s endured throughout his career dating back to his Memphis Tiger days, which can be viewed here.

Michel was Able to ‘Turn out Tough Yards’

Once “Hendo” went down, Michel provided the move-the-chains type running the Rams envisioned when they made the late trade for him.

Of the 10 carries Michel had, six of those touches occurred on the final offensive drive for the Rams that put Matt Gay in a position to kick the 38-yard field goal to put the Rams ahead for good with 2:23 left. That was before Jalen Ramsey sealed the win with his interception of Jacob Eason. Overall, McVay left impressed with the grit of the 26-year-old Michel’s runs.

“I thought he did a good job, especially being able to turn out tough yards,” McVay said.

During that drive, however, McVay rolled the dice with a jet sweep handoff to Cooper Kupp on 3rd and 2, which Colts Pro Bowler Darius Leonard read and easily snuffed out that drove the Rams back five yards. McVay was blunt about his criticism of that play call – a call he made.

“I hated my call that ended up forcing us to kick a field goal there. Bad play call, great job by them making a play. I should have run something different for us, but that’s on me, I don’t run away from those things,” McVay said. “I thought Sony (Michel) did a great job. I thought our offensive line got great removal, guys competed without the ball and to be able to sustain that drive after they tied it up – go down, eat up a lot of clock, force them to use all their timeouts, I thought it was instrumental in us being able to close it out.”

Through the first two games, Henderson leads the Rams backfield in carries (23), yards (123) and touchdowns (two). Meanwhile, Michel leads the team in average yards per carry at 4.4. Should the Rams feed the ball to Funk against Tampa at SoFi Stadium, it’ll be the first time the seventh rounder from the 2021 draft will touch the ball in a live regular season game.

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