The St. Louis Rams will be enter the 2013 season without the services of former star running back Steven Jackson for the first time since 2004. Unfortunately, they also will be entering the season without the services of one of Jackson’s possible replacements for one game.
News broke on Friday afternoon that second-year running back Isaiah Pead would miss the season opener after being suspended by the NFL for breaking the league’s substance abuse policy, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Pead, who the Rams took in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, figures to play a prominent role in the Rams backfield plans this season, but will now be handicapped in the competition.
The Rams other options in the backfield include second-year running back and former seventh rounder Daryl Richardson, undrafted free agent Terrance Ganaway, and this year’s fifth round pick Zac Stacy out of Vanderbilt.
Pead had a disappointing rookie campaign. Drafted to be the back-up and change-of-pace back to Steven Jackson, Pead lost the role to Richardson early in the season and carried the ball just 10 times in 2012, although he was able to amass a 5.4 yards per carry average.
All is not lost for Pead. There are zero proven choices in the Rams backfield and while he will miss the first game, one would have to think that he will get a shot at some point in 2013 unless one of the other candidates truly steps up and wins the job during the pre-season.