Rams coach Sean McVay wants to use a three-man weave at running back. With Week One looming, one of their three men is banged up.
Darrell Henderson appears on the injury report this week as having a hamstring injury. Although he fully participated in practice on Wednesday and Thursday, coach Sean McVay’s comments suggest a greater degree of pessimism regarding Henderson’s availability for Sunday night at home against the Cowboys.
“We’re working through it,” Henderson told reporters on Thursday. “He’s trending in the direction that we think he’s going to be able to play, but you don’t want to speak too soon if he has any sort of setback. He is doing the things that make us feel good as a coaching staff that he looks like he’ll be ready to go, if he continues on this same path.”
So will he play and will his snaps be curtailed?
“I think you feel good that he could play right now,” McVay said. “In a lot of instances, especially with the soft tissue, you’re relying on the players’ feedback. Like, ‘Hey, can you open up? Do you feel like you’re good to go?’ For him to be out there practicing, he’s feeling good as far as a limited snap count, all those things will work themselves out. We’ll see how the week progresses.”
It sounds like Henderson won’t be used much this week, which is one of the benefits of having multiple options at the positions — but which prevents (at least for now) the Rams from using all three pieces of the puzzle, and thrusts Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers into the spotlight for Week One.
It’s the smart play for McVay. Hamstring injuries require rest. When they seem to be healed, they still aren’t. And if you push them before they are, that feeling of a grabbing in the muscle returns, and the clock gets reset on the time necessary to get to 100 percent.