However, with Gurley dealing with chronic injury, the Rams have relied on their backups far more often than expected. Although it is unlikely to see another big name running back join the Rams, perhaps a change is necessary.
Luckily, the Rams would not have to look too far if they want to try something new. Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald shared that as a child he had hoped to play running back, according to Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“I mean I grew up playing you know like middle linebacker since Little League, so growing up I always thought I would play running back,” Donald told Mike Florio and Chris Simms during his Thursday appearance on Pro Football Talk Live. “But I ate my way out of that position, so you know I started playing defensive line probably around 12 or 13 and just been stuck there ever since.”
While there is little to no chance that Donald will be running the ball anytime soon, it is interesting and cool to hear. It is not every day that a generational defensive talent hoped to play offense as a kid.
Donald appears to have the fitness and dexterity to make some plays on offense. He certainly would not have the same explosiveness that Gurley had in his first few years though.
It is also interesting that Donald grew up playing linebacker. Of course, as he mentioned the weight gain likely made coaches want to put him up on the line, helping to form the player he is today.
Clearly Donald has learned to appreciate his position and has just about mastered it. This year, Donald totaled 12.5 sacks, 29 solo tackles and 24 quarterback hits in addition to a league-leading 20 tackles for loss. Although his stats are not as glamorous as last year, he was still the only player to hit all four of those marks simultaneously.
Given his dedication to the craft, it certainly seems possible that Donald could become a great offensive player if he put his mind to it. Luckily, he is already an outstanding defensive player and will continue to be for the Rams for many years to come.
The post Rams News: Aaron Donald Envisioned Himself Playing Running Back As A Child appeared first on Rams Nation.