Despite the fact that the Jacksonville Jaguars are 3-7 ahead of Week 12, their front office is still looking for ways to upgrade the roster. Just recently, they claimed former Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson off waivers.
A third-round pick in the 2019 draft, Henderson was the Rams’ rushing leader this season with 70 carries for 283 yards and three touchdowns. While the former Memphis Tiger is far from having a Pro Bowl campaign, he was Los Angeles’ most effective running back. However, he was also dealing with a knee injury, which might have explained why general manager Les Snead pulled the plug on him.
Henderson has appeared in 50 games with 28 starts and has toted the rock 396 yards for 1,742 yards with 13 touchdowns. With that in mind, here are three observations about the decision to add Henderson to their backfield.
3. Darrell Henderson could be a low-key good addition to the Jaguars backfield
The Rams lost Cam Akers for most of the 2021 season but their rushing attack didn’t miss a beat due to the presence of Darrell Henderson. During Akers’ absence, Henderson was part of a backfield committee and racked up 149 yards with 688 yards with five touchdowns.
Travis Etienne is firmly entrenched at the top of the Jags’ running back depth chart. He will keep carrying most workload but Henderson gives the team a solid option that can get a few carries every game and let Etienne catch his breath from time to time.
2. Trading James Robinson left the cupboard bare at running back
Trading James Robinson paved the way for Etienne to shine but also left the Jags’ backfield devoid of depth. Without Robinson, the coaching staff has needed to rely on JaMycal Hasty but outside a 61-yard touchdown run against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6, he hasn’t done much of note.
Not surprisingly, the team’s brass looked for outside options to bolster their running back depth. If Henderson is healthy, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him be the No. 2 running back on the depth chart and push Hasty down.
1. The Jaguars haven’t seen enough from rookie Snoop Conners
It’s hard to call a fifth-round pick a bust when they fail to pan out but Jacksonville certainly isn’t getting much production out of rookie Snoop Conner. Back in training camp, the former Ole Miss Rebel seemed poised to be the No. 3 running back behind Etienne and Robinson.
But Conner has been a healthy scratch for most of the season and he only suited up after the Jaguars traded Robinson. And even then, he’s only logged one offensive snap. It’s possible that he hasn’t impressed the coaching staff in practice and they don’t feel comfortable giving him playing time yet.
Conner could eventually turn the corner and contribute but head coach Doug Pederson was right to pump the breaks on him in the offseason. Whether that happens or not, the Jaguars think that Henderson can give their running back room a boost and if he can finish the season strong, he might stick around in 2023.