The Rams’ struggle-filled season produced some noteworthy departures Tuesday.
Los Angeles waived running back Darrell Henderson Jr. and linebacker Justin Hollins, the team announced. Tight end Kendall Blanton was also terminated from the practice squad.
Henderson’s release is a surprise, considering he played a significant role in the team’s woeful rushing attack. Henderson leaves the Rams as the team’s leading rusher, gaining 283 yards and scoring three touchdowns on 70 carries (four yards per attempt). Those numbers pale in comparison to the league’s best runners but are indicative of the current state of the Rams, who rank 31st in the NFL in rushing yards per game at just 76.1.
Sunday provided a clue that pointed toward a potential parting of ways between Henderson and the Rams. Though Henderson has received the second-most carries of any runner for Los Angeles this season, he was an afterthought in the Rams’ Week 11 loss to the Saints, seeing just two carries while Cam Akers led the way with 14 attempts and Kyren Williams received seven attempts.
Williams’ return to the fold may have pushed out Henderson. The rookie missed more than two months due to injury but returned to the field in Week 10 and saw the most action of his career last weekend. It appears as if coach Sean McVay prefers to proceed with Akers as the team’s lead back and Williams as a spell option, leaving little room for Henderson to make a difference.
Henderson didn’t seem upset about his release, tweeting a pair of emojis expressing delight Tuesday.
The Rams are struggling in all areas this season, and the loss of receiver Cooper Kupp has only made things worse. Los Angeles doesn’t have a clear answer to fix everything at this point, and it seems as if McVay’s club isn’t interested in finding carries for a running back who is headed to free agency in 2023.
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