Los Angeles Rams RB Darrell Henderson Jr. has been sidelined since Week 16 with a knee injury. What is his status, and will he play in today’s NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers?
Is Darrell Henderson Jr. playing today against the San Francisco 49ers?
Henderson suffered an MCL sprain in Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings and was subsequently placed on injured reserve. As of yesterday, Henderson was still on IR, meaning he won’t be cleared in time to play today. He’ll be sidelined once again as the Rams head into their championship game against the 49ers.
Henderson’s 2021 season
Having been thrust in as the starter for the majority of the season for the Rams, Henderson was doing a good job. When Cam Akers tore his Achilles in the preseason, the speculation around whether the Rams would cope without him began to fly. Henderson was the next man up, but fans were unsure if he could step into the RB1 role effectively.
He finished the regular season with 688 yards and 5 TDs from 149 rushing attempts. Averaging 4.6 yards per carry, he slotted into the role and did what the team needed him to do to run the offense successfully. Henderson found the end zone 4 times in the first five games of the season.
However, as the season wore on, Sony Michel began to work his way into the rotation more. The Rams traded for Michel back in August. He’d been backing up Henderson, coming into the game for limited reps. Eventually, Michel proved to be the more effective back.
Despite getting injured in Week 16, Henderson hadn’t taken starting reps since Week 12 against the Packers, when he averaged just 3.4 yards per carry on 16 attempts.
The Rams without Henderson
The miraculous return of Akers from his torn Achilles came just in time. Akers returned to the lineup on limited reps in Week 18 and was back to a full day’s work in the playoffs.
However, the rust has been showing a little. Akers struggled against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend. Granted, they’re one of the best run defenses in the league, but two Akers fumbles almost sent the Rams home.
The fumbles allowed Tom Brady and the Bucs back into the game. A strong Rams lead evaporated — the contest nearly went to overtime with the Bucs owning the momentum.
Considering the struggles, do we see more of Michel this week against the 49ers? Or does Sean McVay stay true to his support of Akers and his ability to be a difference-maker for the Rams offense?