Expect big things from Sony Michel in Los Angeles
By Chris Moore (Twitter: @fantasy_moore)
Sony Michel used to be viewed as an upcoming star at the running back position when the Patriots drafted him in 2018. Michel battled with injuries during his tenure in New England. Due to the emergence of Damien Harris and Michel’s injuries, the Patriots decided to move on from Michel this offseason. The Patriots traded him to the Rams for a sixth-round pick in 2022 and a fourth-rounder in 2023. It was clear both parties needed a fresh start, as Michel will now fill the Rams’ massive need at running back while the Patriots added some draft capital. Following his arrival in Los Angeles, Michel is now the backup for Darrell Henderson.
Through two weeks of the NFL season, Michel has 11 carries for 51 yards. Michel hasn’t seen a heavy workload yet, but this weekend may be his first shot at receiving a larger workload as the season goes on. The Rams starting running back Darrell Henderson suffered a rib injury in the Rams Week 2 victory over the Colts. As of the time I am writing this article, Henderson is a game-time decision for Week 3. If Henderson were to miss Week 3, Michel would be in line to receive a heavy workload versus the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers currently have one of the best defensive lines in the entire league, and it will be hard for the Rams to get anything going on the ground this week regardless of who the starting running back is. But, this would be a huge opportunity for Michel to show he still belongs in the league. A strong showing out of Michel may have the Rams rethinking their current backfield. Michel may have a chance this week to show he deserves more playing time in this backfield.
What’s Left In The Tank
While the Patriots believed they didn’t need Michel’s services anymore, I still believe Michel can be a viable running back in the league. Michel looked good in the preseason for the Patriots, averaging 4.6 yards per carry in the two games he played. Michel also showed improvement in the passing game, as Michel caught every target he saw in the preseason (4) for 37 receiving yards. Michel looked like a better player than the one he was last season. Michel took over last week when Henderson left the game and had a strong showing. Rushing 10 times for 46 yards, with his longest run being 11 yards.
He might not be the impressive rookie running back he used to be, but Michel has an opportunity to establish a greater role for himself in the Rams backfield starting this week. Michel looked prepared when he took over for Henderson last week, and I expect that to be the case if he starts in Week 3 for the Rams. Michel is an established running back in the league, who’s looking for another chance, and he might get one.