THOUSAND OAKS, Calif .– As the Rams determine whether running back Darrell Henderson Jr. (ribs) will be available for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers, running back Sony Michel remains ready – regardless of the scope of his role . being.
“I have to be ready whether I start or not,” Michel said after practice on Thursday. “If I’m not prepared, it won’t be good. So my only goal right now is to be prepared, to be in the playbook, to try to study more, to try to review some looks that maybe the guys who were here at the camp I understood what I didn’t understand. So my job is to try to learn as fast as possible in a short time. And if my number is called Sunday, I must be ready to go.
After seeing just three snaps against the Bears in Week 1, Michel saw his most meaningful action to date in Week 2 with 10 carries for 46 yards and 16 total snaps.
All of these rushed attempts came in the fourth quarter after Henderson left the game with the aforementioned rib injury. To be exact, seven of them played on the record after Henderson’s injury and represented seven of the 12 games that set up what would end up being Rams kicker Matt Gay’s 38-yard game-winning goal.
“It’s always great to go out and help a team win a football game, to try to be another piece of the puzzle,” said Michel. “But it also builds confidence – it builds self-confidence, it builds confidence in your teammates. You want your teammates to trust you, you want your teammates to want to be with you. I think that’s the part. most important. “
This week, Michel will be bracing for a Buccaneers defense that will return all starters on last year’s Super Bowl squad, one that also finished the 2020 NFL regular season No.1 in run defense.
“I’m sure everyone knows that, they have a physical front seven, they have guys who can cover well and they are very physical,” said Michel. “To run football you have to be physical against him, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Michel will play, according to Rams head coach Sean McVay, although they are still assessing what the scope of his involvement looks like.
“I don’t know yet (if Michel will start),” McVay said. “We see what Darrell’s status will be, but you can expect to see Sony. Whether he takes the first shot or however many shots he plays, is yet to be determined.”
When asked if he likes to know in advance that he’s going to start, Michel said it didn’t impact his approach.
“Throughout my career, I have always prepared myself as a starter,” said Michel. “These last two games I’ve been preparing like I’m going to be the starter. Because things happen in the game where I might get thrown. The term starter is so broad because you can start the game. , but if you’re thrown into the third game of the game and you have the rest of the game, if you’re not prepared, that doesn’t mean anything. “