Rams' Sony Michel is fine waiting for opportunity to get in the running

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Los Angeles Rams running back Sony Michel (25) smiles as he warms up before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Running back Sony Michel had one carry in his first game with the Rams last week against the Chicago Bears. (Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

His Rams debut consisted of three snaps and exactly one carry for two yards.

Sony Michel said he had no problem with it.

As the Rams prepare for their game Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts, Michel said he was fine with a limited role in the 34-14 season-opening victory over the Chicago Bears.

“The No. 1 goal is to win,” Michel said. “It’s not really about me and individual success. ... When my opportunity comes, I just have to make sure I’m prepared.”

The Rams acquired Michel in a late preseason trade with the New England Patriots. With Cam Akers out for the season because of an Achilles injury, the Rams sought a proven back to pair with third-year pro Darrell Henderson, who is coming off ankle surgery for the second time in two years.

Michel, a first-round draft pick in 2018, rushed for more than 900 yards twice in three seasons with the Patriots.

Henderson started against the Bears, however, and played nearly the entire game.

Coach Sean McVay said Michel’s small role was because of the flow of a game since several Rams scoring drives included long touchdown passes, limiting the number of snaps.

Henderson rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown in 16 carries. He also turned a pass into a 17-yard gain.

Michel said he was happy for Henderson’s success.

“Part of competing against your teammates is supporting them — I’m a firm believer in that,” Michel said. “And I support Darrell on his quest right now.

“He’s doing a great job running the football, blocking, catching balls. I hope he keeps it going, and when my opportunity comes, I hope I can join him.”

The Colts gave up 140 yards rushing in their 28-16 season-opening defeat to the Seattle Seahawks. So, while McVay is expected to continue calling long pass plays for quarterback Matthew Stafford, he also might attempt to establish a stronger rushing presence Sunday.

Asked if he would make a conscious effort to involve Michel more, McVay demurred.

“You have confidence that you can utilize him, if need be, but Darrell, I thought, did a great job,” against the Bears, McVay said. “Darrell’s going to start the game. We want to really get him into the flow of it ...

“You do want to be able to say, ‘Hey, if we're able to sustain drives, be able to get some things off, could you expect to see Sony?’ That's a possibility, but Darrell’s a guy that's done a really nice job and I was really pleased with how he got stronger as the game went on.”

Etc.

Defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day (knee) was a full participant in practice, according to the Rams injury report. Receiver DeSean Jackson (rest) did not practice.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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