Sports

Rams RB Henderson’s status uncertain vs. Bucs

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson suffered a rib cartilage injury Sunday in a victory over the Indianapolis Colts, according to coach Sean McVay, leaving his status uncertain for a Week 3 matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“We want to give him as much time as possible to get as healthy as possible,” McVay said on Monday, indicating that Henderson will rest during early week practices. “This is something that if the pain subsides then we will be confident to be able to utilize him.”

Henderson’s health will be reevaluated on Friday, but regardless if he is able to play, larger roles should be expected for Sony Michel and rookie Jake Funk.

“We’ve got to take the approach that those guys have to get ready to carry the load,” McVay said. “And if Darrell can go then that’s a positive for us.”

Acquired late into training camp in a trade with the New England Patriots, Michel was inserted Sunday following Henderson’s injury at the start of the fourth quarter. A former first-round pick, Michel rushed for 46 yards on 10 carries to help secure a 27-24 win as the Rams improved to 2-0.

“It was great to be able to get in there, do my job and help this team kind of string some plays together, and I think we did a good job,” Michel said after the win.

“I think what yesterday was a good, positive reflection of, was that Sony got into the rhythm of the game, got a handful of carries,” McVay said Monday. “That was good for me to see, that was good for our players to see and I thought he did a nice job closing it out.”

Michel’s playing time was limited to three snaps in a 34-14 Week 1 win over the Chicago Bears.

Funk, a seventh-round pick from Maryland, did not play on offense in Week 1, but was inserted for three snaps against the Colts, mostly in pass-protection situations.

A third-year pro, Henderson was moved into the starting role at the start of training camp after rising star Cam Akers suffered a season-ending injury to his right Achilles while working out before camp.

McVay has expressed continued confidence in Henderson’s ability as a featured back, but has also acknowledged a need to keep Henderson healthy. His first two NFL seasons ended prematurely on injured reserve after undergoing ankle surgeries.

“There isn’t anything that we don’t feel like Darrell is capable of doing from a skill set,” McVay said during training camp. “It’s just really figuring out that sweet spot in terms of what is the right amount of snaps to give him to keep him fresh throughout the course of a 17-game season.”

In two games, Henderson has rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.

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