Rams Positional Outlook: Running Backs

Posted Feb 21, 2018

A look at how the Rams' running backs performed in 2017 and how L.A. is set up for the future heading into 2018.

The 2017 Rams won their first NFC West title since 2003 with an 11-5 regular-season record. As Los Angeles’ focus shifts to 2018 and beyond, we’ll take a position-by-position look at how the Rams performed in 2017 and how each group currently stands at the start of the 2018 offseason.


RB | Todd Gurley III *^

Team leading 1,305 rushing yards on 279 carries (No. 2 in the NFL) | League-leading 13 rushing touchdowns | AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year and FedEx Ground Player of the Year

RB | Malcolm Brown
246 rushing yards on 63 carries | One rushing touchdown scored

RB | Lance Dunbar
51 rushing yards on 11 carries | One rushing touchdown scored

RB | Justin Davis
One yard gained on one carry

FB | Sam Rogers

Signed a futures contract with the Rams in January 

*Pro Bowl



Dunbar will become an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year, while Brown is set to become an exclusive rights free agent. Fullback Zach Laskey — who has spent the last two years on injured reserve after spending the 2015 season on the practice squad — is also an exclusive rights free agent.


The Rams running game in 2017 was centered around the resurgence of Gurley. After recording  just 885 yards on 278 carries in 2016, Gurley showcased impressive development under head coach Sean McVay — re-establishing himself as an elite running back.

Not only did he lead the NFL with 2,093 yards from scrimmage, but he also scored a league-leading 19 total touchdowns. Gurley was key to Los Angeles’ success as his consistent production helped the Rams to an 11-5 record and an NFC West Championship.

Much of the same is expected from the running back in 2018.

Brown came into the season as the No. 2 back, but his campaign was hampered by a series of injuries. The Texas product injured his MCL during the Rams’ Week 8 contest against the Giants and missed the following four games. But he did perform admirably when coming in for Gurley, totaling 48 yards on 11 carries against the Cardinals and 45 yards on 10 carries against the Seahawks. 

Dunbar opened the season on the clubs’ reserve/PUP list after aggravating his knee during the offseason. Although he was only active for four games this season, he does have the potential to help the Rams next year as a pass-catching back — should the two sides come to deal to keep him in Los Angeles.

Former USC standout Justin Davis impressed during the offseason to find a spot on the Rams’ active roster. But his struggles with protecting the football kept Davis on the backburner behind Brown and Dunbar for much of the year. Through four games played, he took just six snaps on offense and 34 snaps on special teams.