For a second straight season, St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson ranked second in the NFL in touches (rushing attempts plus receptions), handling the ball 376 times in 16 games in 2010.
Jackson’s 2010 workload decreased slightly from the previous season, where Jackson touched the ball 375 times in 15 games. Jackson underwent minor back surgery last off-season, played through a knee injury and a surgically-repaired finger during this past season, so there’s no denying his toughness.
There’s also no denying that this kind of workload is unsustainable, and that the Rams need to find a complement to the three-time Pro Bowler this off-season.
“We’ve had the toughest luck filling that,” Rams general manager Billy Devaney said, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’d like a game-changer there. Or a change-of-pace back.
“I thought (Kenneth) Darby did a really good job. But any time that you can add a third-down back type of guy, change-of-pace, who can score from way out. Absolutely. That hasn’t changed.”
Thomas adds that University of Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray, a former teammate of quarterback Sam Bradford who’ll be on display during the Senior Bowl, could be a mid-round option for the Rams.