St. Louis Rams: Has Daryl Richardson Earned a Permanent Role in the Offense?

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St. Louis Rams: Has Daryl Richardson Earned a Permanent Role in the Offense?
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The biggest story from the St. Louis Rams' 31-28 victory over the Washington Redskins last Sunday was the running back situation.

After running for 58 yards on nine carries, star running back Steven Jackson sat out the rest of the game. Most presumed that it was due to a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty that Jackson drew for spiking the ball after what he thought (and replays seemed to show) was a touchdown.

It was reported shortly after the game that Jackson had suffered a groin injury and that's why he came out of the game. Such a coincidence.

In his stead, Daryl Richardson, not Isaiah Pead, who the team drafted in the second round of this year's draft, took over the rushing responsibilities the rest of the way.

Richardson, a seventh round selection out of tiny Abilene Christian, had 83 yards rushing on 15 carries along with two receptions for another 19 yards.

In Week 3 when the Rams face the 1-1 Chicago Bears, all signs point to Jackson being able to play. But should Jeff Fisher and the coaching staff think about giving Richardson some snaps? He made the most of the opportunity that was presented on Sunday and most importantly, the Rams won the game without Jackson.

Jackson is the Rams all-time leading rusher and definitely deserves to be the featured back. In the past six seasons, Jackson has averaged 291.6 rushing attempts per season. Maybe the team could use Richardson to preserve Jackson, keeping him fresh for the stage of the game when they need crucial yards or are attempting to close out an opponent? Richardson would also make a prototypical third down back.

Since becoming the starting running back, there has never been much depth behind Jackson. But he will be 30 years old next season and it wouldn't hurt to start finding someone to take some of the load off of him. Richardson and an untested Pead fit that bill.

Expect to see Steven Jackson in the prominent role he's been in for eight seasons, at least for the rest of this year. But should he need to come off the field, whatever the reason, the Rams will be in good hands with Richardson.

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