Sean McVay liked complementary role Sony Michel played to Darrell Henderson Jr. vs. Seahawks
When healthy, Darrell Henderson Jr. has been the workhorse at running back for the Rams. He hasn’t topped 20 carries in a game, but that’s more about the play calling than it is Sony Michel taking touches away from him.
Thursday night represented the closest split between the two all season, and not just because Henderson missed a drive with an apparent injury. Michel played even when Henderson was available and he impressed Sean McVay.
Both of them did, actually, and McVay liked the way Michel complemented the slashing, explosive runner that Henderson is.
“I thought they did a good job,” McVay said after the game. “I thought they had some really tough, hard-earned yards. I thought Sony was really tough when he came in and spelled Darrell. I thought Darrell’s 20-plus run when it really wasn’t clean was outstanding. And then next play, we hit Higbee on the touchdown. That was a great individual effort. I thought he leveled off some things. You can see he’s got that explosiveness. He’s got that twitch, that juice where he’s a slash runner. I think he and Sony are really good complements of one another and it’s something we’re going to continue to build on.”
Henderson carried it 17 times for 82 yards and a touchdown, while Michel got 11 carries; he rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown, himself. Henderson is still the starter and that shouldn’t change, but Michel could eat into his workload.
McVay was asked if Thursday night’s game was an example of the complementary role Michel was brought in to have.
“I think so,” he said. “I think when you end up saying 14 and 11, I think that’s a good balance. But they both did a nice job tonight. Each game is kind of its own entity, but I thought tonight, they spelled each other and did a great job.”
Even when Henderson was out, the Rams were confident to give Michel a healthy number of touches. On one drive alone, he touched the ball 10 times in a span of 13 plays. Even Henderson wasn’t getting fed the ball that often when he was in there, so there was a level of comfort in Michel shown.
We’ll see what this means moving forward, but Michel could be in for a bigger role.