Against the Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson reportedly injured his groin according to head coach Jeff Fisher.
Not everybody is convinced.
The injury/benching occurred directly after Jackson received a 15-yard personal foul for spiking the ball. Conspiracy theories abound that disciplinarian Fisher was actually making an example of Jackson. His explanation to the media was to ensure the matter stayed within the confines of the locker room.
Whatever the reason, there are a few things that can be gleaned from the event.
The Rams Have a Solid Backup Rookie Running Back
The Rams drafted a rookie running back that was expected to produce this year, we just had the wrong guy.
Seventh-round selection Daryl Richardson has apparently overtaken second-rounder Isaiah Pead, and with good reason. Upon entering the game, Richardson carried the ball 15 times for 83 yards and added two catches for 19 more.
He did fumble the ball once, but that does little to diminish a great first impression.
Jackson May Get a Little More Rest Moving Forward
The nine-year veteran is not going to be overtaken by a rookie anytime soon. Before getting "injured," he piled up 58 yards on only nine carries.
However, Jackson has over 2,500 touches in his esteemed career. There is little doubt that such a large workload will quickly wear out a player, despite his proven toughness.
Therefore, Fisher would be smart to take some of the burden placed upon their bellcow and give it to the rookie. Richardson has proven he can tote the rock, and using both backs will keep Jackson fresh throughout the season while giving the rookie a chance to develop.
Richardson is the Necessary Handcuff, not Pead
Any fantasy owner that has Jackson needs to make a move for his actual backup, instead of holding out hope that Pead will gain the position he seemed destined for. Pead has obviously not done anything to catch his coaches' eyes, and Richardson seems poised to handle whatever the team throws at him.
If Jackson cannot go next week (or any other week), Richardson has proven himself a worthy starter on any team. Otherwise, I'd wait to see how many (if any) touches he is given before taking him off the bench.
Regardless, grab Richardson with a decent bid in an auction league or pray your competitors weren't paying attention to the Rams if you're in a waiver league.