Free-agent RB Brian Westbrook is being courted by a handful of teams and is expected to make a decision this week. But is there any way he can ignore the opportunity in St. Louis?
Rams RB Steven Jackson is coming off back surgery and behind him is, well, not much else. Kenneth Darby, Chris Ogbonnaya and undrafted free agent Keith Toston are getting the carries. But would the team feel comfortable with any of those three filling in for Jackson, either to spell him during games or in the event he goes down with another injury?
That makes Westbrook almost the only choice. But Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said he isn’t nervous about his current running back situation during a recent interview with ESPN 101 in St. Louis (via Sports Radio Interviews).
“I am not and I am going to give you … The number one reason is obviously number thirty-nine because we have a lot of confidence in him and he is a workhorse,” Spagnuolo said. “Of course I understand the issue with the injury, but I am very confident that we have gone about it the right way and that Steve is going to be healthy.
“I have got a lot of respect for Ken Darby. I am really impressed with, it has only been two OTAs now, but Chris Ogbonnaya has done a lot of good things. … I am not going to sit here and say that we are not going to look for another running back because we will.”
So Spagnuolo says he has confidence in his backups, but he will look at other guys — which pretty much tells you all you need to know about the team’s backups. The move also makes a lot of sense for Westbrook, who can’t go as an every-down back anymore. Splitting time with Jackson seems like a perfect opportunity.
UPDATE: Westbrook will make a decision this week, a league source told NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi on Tuesday. Apparently, D.C. is where his heart is (Westbrook is from the area), St. Louis is where the money is and Denver is where he’d play the most.