Five things to know about new Rams running back Sony Michel
Here are five things Rams fans need to know about Michel:
He already owns a Super Bowl ring
SoFi Stadium is the site of Super Bowl LVI, and the Michel trade is another example of the Rams going all in to make sure owner Stan Kroenke can show off the building with his team in it.
The Rams know the Super Bowl stage is not too big for Michel.
The Rams bolstered their running back corps by acquiring Sony Michel from the New England Patriots in a trade. The Rams love his big-game experience.
On Feb. 3, 2019, the then-rookie Michel rushed for 94 yards in 18 carries and scored the go-ahead touchdown for the Patriots in 13-3 victory over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Atlanta.
Michel’s two-yard touchdown run with seven minutes left broke a 3-3 tie and helped send the Patriots on their way to their sixth Super Bowl title.
Rams running backs coach Thomas Brown knows Michel
In 2015, after starring in high school in Florida, Michel was a sophomore running back at Georgia.
Brown was the Bulldogs’ running backs coach.
Michel rushed for 1,136 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 26 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns.
Michel has rushed for more than 100 yards in a game seven times
After the Patriots selected him with the 31st pick in the 2018 draft, Michel as a rookie eclipsed the 100-yard mark four times during the regular season and twice in the playoffs.
He did not have a 100-yard game in 2019.
Last season, Michel rushed for 117 yards against the Las Vegas Raiders but suffered a quadriceps injury that sidelined him for seven games.
The Rams held him to 22 yards in seven carries in a 24-3 victory over the Patriots at SoFi Stadium in December.
Michel is accustomed to carrying the load
In two of his three seasons with the Patriots, Michel led the team with more than 200 carries.
As a rookie, he rushed for 931 yards and six touchdowns in 209 carries. In 2019, he rushed for 912 yards and seven touchdowns in 247 carries.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford figures to improve each week even minus preseason games, but they still need to address running game first.
Last season, because of the quadriceps injury, he was limited to 79 carries, gaining 449 yards and scoring one touchdown.
Michel is probably a short-term rental
The Rams needed a running back because Cam Akers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury and Darrell Henderson’s injury history makes his durability an issue.
Michel’s fate with the Patriots was sealed when Bill Belichick decided not to exercise the team’s fifth-year option, which would have cost them $4.5 million in 2022.
Michel will earn about $3 million this season, and then probably search for a new deal with another team as the Rams welcome back Akers, who will have a salary-cap number of $1.6 million in the third year of his rookie contract, according to overthecap.com.
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