Kyren Williams is still a week away from returning to the field as he recovers from an ankle injury suffered in Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals, but even when he does come back, the Los Angeles Rams could use a complementary player in the backfield.
One potential option just became available on Tuesday when the Jets waived running back Michael Carter, a third-year player and former fourth-round pick. Carter has been the Jets’ No. 3 option behind Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook, primarily working as a receiving back on third downs and obvious passing situations. This season, he only has eight carries for 38 yards, but he’s caught 15 passes for 68 yards as a receiver.
The Rams don’t necessarily need a new workhorse to replace Williams, but Carter wold make a lot of sense as a third-down back. Not only would he be an upgrade over Darrell Henderson Jr. and Royce Freeman, but he also has experience with Rams offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
With LaFleur as the Jets’ play caller the last two years, Carter caught a total of 77 passes for 613 yards. He was utilized as a pass catcher out of the backfield, which is the same role he’d have in Los Angeles.
While not the biggest or fastest running back, he was a big-play weapon at North Carolina. As a senior in 2020, he rushed for 1,245 yards on only 156 carries (8.0 yards per carry) and averaged 10.7 yards per catch as a receiver. He split the backfield with Javonte Williams, but both players were highly productive.
The Rams just waived Myles Gaskin from the active roster and could stand to move on from Henderson, too. That would open the door for Carter to back up Williams in Week 12 and take some of the work off of his plate. After all, it’s unsustainable for Williams to play the number of snaps he was playing before getting injured.
The Rams are seventh in the waiver order so there aren’t many teams ahead of them if they want to put in a claim for Carter. For a running back with one year left on his contract, he’s worth trying to bring in.