Los Angeles Rams Offense
The Los Angeles Rams backfield has never looked this stagnant under head coach Sean McVay. The Rams are averaging a measly 3.4 yards per carry this season, relying predominately on Darrell Henderson and Cam Akers. Akers is reportedly unhappy with his role, and the Rams are attempting to trade the former second-round pick. LA has another running back with potential, but has missed almost the entire season due to injury. Let’s dive into Kyren Williams injury update.
Kyren Williams career start
Rookie Kyren Williams is a 5th-round pick out of Notre Dame who has missed just about all his short time in the NFL due to injury. In June, Williams suffered a broken foot in practice that required surgery. Williams was able to return for week one, only to suffer a grade III high ankle sprain on the very first kickoff.
This injury has kept Williams out the entire season, but he appears ready to return soon. McVay stated that Williams might return to practice after week 8, after which he will have 21-days to be officially elevated to the active roster. With the Rams desperate for running back support, could the two-time thousand-yard rusher at Notre Dame be a nice pickup in fantasy? Let’s explore the significance of his injuries.
Kyren Williams Injuries
Foot Fracture – June 2022
Williams suffered a foot fracture in June that required surgery. With any surgery on the foot, there is a period of immobilization. This causes the foot and ankle to stiffen up. Sometimes, this stiffness persists long after the injury, but other times with rehab, the athlete can fully regain this range of motion. In addition to stiffness, immobilization leads to weakness of the foot and ankle muscles. This strength is easy to get back, and no doubt he has regained all his strength by now.
We have seen a few prominent NFL players return to form from foot fractures. Derrick Henry and Deebo Samuel are the two biggest names. While this injury may lead to residual foot and ankle stiffness that may render him prone to future injury, it should not impact his ability to play.
Grade III High Ankle sprain – week 1
Williams suffered a grade III high ankle sprain in the first quarter of the NFL season opener. This injury landed him on the IR, and he has not played since. There is a wide spectrum of games missed with a high ankle sprain. With Williams now missing seven weeks, it was severe. Severe high ankle sprains have the potential to contribute to chronic ankle stiffness, which we talk about on literally every Fantasy Injury Team Podcast.
When the ankle endures such as significant injury, even when the tissues have healed and the player can play again, residual stiffness often remains that does not allow the ankle to flex and absorb shock as well as it usually does. However, this can be complicated from an NFL standpoint because this stiffness does not necessarily impact speed and agility but does make a player prone to future injury.
Ankle stiffness does not allow proper shock absorption, leading to increased stress through the knee, hip, back, and even the opposite shoulder. This renders these joints more prone to injury. Additionally, with typical walking, the ankle moves into dorsiflexion (flexing upward), signals the glute muscles to activate thousands of times a day. Without this constant signaling, the glute muscles are not as active. The glutes are supposed to be the strongest muscles in the body and play a significant role in the lower limb’s speed, agility, power, and coordination. Because of this, inhibition of the glutes increases the risk of a lower-body injury.
Kyren Williams injury update outlook
Kyren Williams’ injury history has delayed the start of his career, but all is not lost. LA is desperate for running back support, and Williams can be the one to provide it. It is unlikely that his foot injury from the summer will impact his play on the field. Surprisingly, running backs fantasy output is only marginally affected when returning from a high ankle sprain.
With this much time to heal and recover, Williams should be ready to make an impact when he steps on the field. The risk is that half a season into his career, he has two significant injuries, and both can contribute to mechanical changes in the lower extremity, potentially leading to more injuries. Fantasy players must weigh the risk vs. reward when considering claiming Williams off waivers. The good news is, there is very little risk since he is likely on waivers, and has potential for high reward playing in a McVay offense. To me he is worth a waiver claim this week!