The battle at running back was thought to be the most hotly contested area of the offense for the St. Louis Rams heading into training camp. While there have been some bright spots here and there, status quo has remained the feeling in the backfield at this point. With his off-field issues and a one-game suspension as a result to begin the season along with a lack of success on the field, Isaiah Pead may only be making the Rams’ decision easier when it comes to naming a Week 1 starter.
After fumbling on his first touch in the preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns, Pead began his work on a much more positive note against the Green Bay Packers in the second tilt. His 11-yard gallop around the right end to start the night was the high point for his entire body of work unfortunately as Pead played into the third quarter with only 11 carries and 21 yards to show for his efforts. He did show his versatility as a receiver with a nice 10-yard catch and run down the sidelines during the game, but his general ineffectiveness has to give the Rams pause about his future prospects.
Daryl Richardson was named as the starter to begin the preseason, and he has done absolutely nothing to warrant a demotion at this point. His action was limited in the second preseason game as he only saw two touches with one being an eight-yard run wiped out by a holding penalty and the other a 24-yard catch and run.
The third horse in the running back race, rookie Zac Stacy, was held out of the second preseason game with what has been described as general soreness. Fellow rookie Benny Cunningham took those extra carries as a result of the team’s lack of backfield depth as he had six totes for 19 yards on the game.
This so-called battle appears to have already been won with Pead not showing anything starter-worthy in his first two preseason games. In fact, it could be argued that Pead has played himself out of any significant work at all at least early in the season with his opening game suspension and his less than stellar play to this point.
Draft status doesn’t mean everything, and even though Pead was selected by the Rams in the middle of round two last April whereas Richardson was taken just five picks from the end of the entire draft, that really means very little at this point. If the former seventh rounder continues to outperform that former second rounder, Pead will maintain his backseat view behind Richardson on the running back depth chart.