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Darrell Henderson
NFL

Darrell Henderson Waived: 3 These Teams Should Claim Him

  • Justin Melo
  • November 23, 2022
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The Los Angeles Rams announced a surprising transaction when they released running back Darrell Henderson Jr. on Tuesday afternoon. Henderson departs Los Angeles with 28 career starts across three seasons under his belt, including seven this season. The Rams will now move forward with the backfield tandem of Kyren Williams and Cam Akers, the latter of which was expected to be released/traded just weeks ago.

Henderson has rushed for 283 yards and three touchdowns on 70 carries this season. Henderson’s 4.0 yards per carry average is a respectable output, particularly behind Los Angeles’ struggling offensive line. Henderson has added 17 receptions for 102 receiving yards as a pass-catcher.

The No. 70 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Henderson is in the fourth and final season of his rookie contract. A claiming team via the waivers process would inherit an affordable contract. We’ve identified three teams who should consider claiming Darrell Henderson.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell served as Henderson’s offensive coordinator with the Los Angeles Rams for two seasons (2020-21). Henderson enjoyed the best years of his career under O’Connell’s tutelage. In 2021, Henderson achieved career-highs in rushing yards (688), yards per carry (4.6), and total touchdowns (8).

O’Connell’s coaching staff possesses several assistants that also spent time with Henderson in L.A. That list includes offensive coordinator Wes Phillips and quarterbacks coach Chris O’Hara to name a few. No staff is more familiar with Henderson than O’Connell’s is. It would allow Henderson to hit the ground running in Minnesota.

The 8-2 Vikings appear postseason bound. Adding Henderson could provide some insurance should something unforeseen happen to Dalvin Cook. Henderson’s transition in Minnesota would be a smooth one.

DENVER BRONCOS

The Broncos surprisingly waived veteran running back Melvin Gordon on Monday. General manager George Paton released Gordon despite an injury to Chase Edmonds, which already landed him on IR. Edmonds will miss a minimum of four contests, but his absence could be even longer.

Temporary breakout star Mike Boone is also on IR. This leaves the Broncos with Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack as the lone ball carriers on their 53-man roster. An aging Murray can’t carry the workload on his own, and Mack has been ineffective since suffering the kiss-of-death torn Achilles injury.

Javonte Williams will return as Denver’s starting running back next season. The Broncos typically prefer to deploy a two-back system, hence Gordon’s previous presence. The Broncos aren’t heading for the playoffs, but claiming Henderson would allow Paton to evaluate Henderson down the stretch. Henderson could play himself into a new contract and timeshare role in Denver next season.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

The run-heavy Ravens haven’t had much luck at the running back position this season. Presumed starter J.K. Dobbins has struggled to recover from last season’s torn ACL injury. Dobbins also underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in October. Gus Edwards was also inactive in Baltimore’s Week 11 win over the Carolina Panthers due to injury. The Ravens can’t catch a break.

Veteran journeyman Kenyan Drake has been serving as a Band-Aid solution in Baltimore’s muddied backfield. Drake has been just moderately effective. Dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson is the ultimate equalizer, but the Ravens refuse to abandon their preferred offensive approach even in the face of personnel issues. Henderson would provide Baltimore’s backfield with some much-needed depth and injury insurance ahead of their postseason run.