Rams Running Backs Sidelined by Injuries, Posing Challenge for Ground Game

         

Summary: Injuries to Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers disrupt the Rams’ breakthrough ground game, putting pressure on rookie Zach Evans and veteran Royce Freeman. Despite a strong passing game, the Rams need a balanced offense to support their defense.

The Los Angeles Rams’ victory over the Arizona Cardinals was marred by injuries to running backs Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers. Williams, who rushed for a career-high 158 yards, injured his ankle in the fourth quarter, while Rivers hurt his knee earlier in the game. Coach Sean McVay provided no specific details on their conditions, but indicated that they are likely to miss games, potentially leaving the Rams without their top two ball-carriers when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

The injuries are a setback for the Rams, who traded away running back Cam Akers last month. Now, they must rely on rookie Zach Evans or practice squad veteran Royce Freeman in their backfield. This puts pressure on the Rams’ ground game, which had shown promise in their victory over the Cardinals.

Despite falling behind 9-6 at halftime due to the Cardinals’ defensive schemes, the Rams made a strong commitment to the run game in the second half. Coach McVay admitted that they had been talked out of running plays in the first half, and emphasized the need to trust the game plan. The Rams’ passing game, led by Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp, remained solid, but a balanced offense is crucial for supporting the deliberately undermanned defense.

The Rams’ offensive line deserves credit for their improved performance this season, even with the absence of injured lineman Joe Noteboom. However, the reduced role of Tutu Atwell in the offense is seen as unwise, as the speedy wide receiver has the potential to be a threat. On the defensive side, rookie edge rusher Byron Young had an impressive game against the Cardinals, showing promise in his young career.

In addition to the injuries to Williams and Rivers, nose tackle Kobie Turner also sustained a shoulder injury in his first career start. The severity of the injury is unknown at this time. The Rams are already thin at nose tackle with Bobby Brown out due to a knee injury.

The Rams’ upcoming game against the Pittsburgh Steelers presents an opportunity to improve their record. The game will also mark Aaron Donald’s third time facing his hometown team, with a 0-2 record against the Steelers.

Tags: Rams, injuries, running backs, ground game, Rookie Zach Evans, veteran Royce Freeman, balanced offense, Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Pittsburgh Steelers

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