May 27, 2024

Just when it seemed as if they had found a consistent rushing attack, the Rams suddenly are running low on running backs.

Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers suffered ankle and knee injuries, respectively, Sunday during the Rams’ 26-9 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

“Those guys are going to be out for a little bit,” coach Sean McVay said Monday during a video conference with reporters. “Exactly how long we’re kind of working through.”

Williams rushed for a career-high 158 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals. Rivers gained nine yards in three carries.

McVay, whose team plays the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at SoFi Stadium, declined to provide a timeline for Williams’ and Rivers’ return.

“The initial prognosis looks like it’s going to be challenging for those guys in the immediate future,” McVay said.

Williams, a 2022 fifth-round draft pick from Notre Dame, became the starter in the second game this season after McVay soured again on Cam Akers, who was subsequently traded to the Minnesota Vikings. Williams has rushed for 456 yards and six touchdowns, and he has 13 receptions, one for a touchdown.

Rivers has rushed for 57 yards this season.

The Rams could turn to rookie Zach Evans or veteran Royce Freeman.

Evans, a sixth-round draft pick from Mississippi, made his NFL debut against the Cardinals, rushing for 10 yards in four carries.

McVay has recognized Evans several times for his exemplary work on the scout team, offensive lineman Rob Havenstein said.

“He’s a young guy, he’s hungry and following Kyren and Ronnie’s lead,” Havenstein said during a video conference. “I think having those leaders in the room is awesome for him, and so we’re excited to see what he’s got.”

Freeman, 27, is a sixth-year pro who signed a veteran-minimum contract with the Rams before the season. He is on the practice squad and does not have a carry this season.

“There will be some different things that we’re in the midst of working through right now,” McVay said. “And so, we’ll probably have a little bit better idea once you get the full gauntlet of what it exactly is looking like projection-wise on both Ronnie and Kyren, how that will affect any sort of decisions as it relates to roster and then what it looks like for the landscape of the league.”

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