The Los Angeles Rams ruled out running back Malcolm Brown indefinitely due to an MCL injury on Wednesday, November 8, according to head coach Sean McVay.
McVay stated that Brown will be out “for a little bit of time.” Brown served as the primary backup to Todd Gurley through eight games, rushing for 137 yards and a touchdown. The team has yet to decide if the injury will require surgery.
With Brown out, expect Lance Dunbar to step into the backup running back role in the coming weeks. Dunbar signed with the Rams this offseason, and the team expected to play the role of the passing down back. The Rams placed him on the physically unable to perform list to start the season due to a knee injury. Dunbar returned to practice last week. Gurley is unlikely to lose his role as the primary passing down back, but Dunbar should still make an impact on the offense upon return.
Tavon Austin will likely handle the backup running back duties if Dunbar is not ready for Sunday. The fifth-year receiver appears to have found a role as the Rams change of pace running back. Austin has rushed for 169 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. He played a lot of running back at West Virginia and has transitioned seamlessly into his role this season. If the Rams don’t think Austin can handle the full backup duties, undrafted free agent Justin Davis will likely see time at running back on Sunday.
The NFC-West leading Rams host the Houston Texans this Sunday, November 12 at 1:05 PT.
Steve Rebeiro is a staff writer and podcast host for Rams Talk. He graduated from Marquette University in 2016. For more of his opinions, follow him on Twitter here.