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As St. Louis Rams return to field, how many carries will Steven Jackson get?

The St. Louis Rams will return to the field—and the United States—against the San Francisco 49ers, after a bye week last Sunday. How many carries will they give Steven Jackson?

Jamie McDonald

After all the trade rumors and contract concerns, the St. Louis Rams did not deal Steven Jackson at last week's stereotypically boring NFL Trade Deadline. He will most definitely be their starting running back against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. Which brings us back to the question we had before all the rumors began: With Daryl Richardson on the rise and his contract up after 2012, how many carries will Jackson get?

If nothing else, Richardson's touches seem to have stabilized in recent weeks; over his last four games he's taken between seven and 11 carries (and caught as many as four balls, though not to any particular advantage.) That's plenty of carries, but even if you add them to Jackson's carries over the last three weeks the team has been on a fewer-than-300-carry pace.

Considering head coach Jeff Fisher's run-happy reputation and the Rams offense's recent stall, it seems reasonable to expect that Jackson will become more of a presence during the second half even without cutting Richardson out of the gameplan. For whatever reason, the Rams have played the last few weeks as though Josh McDaniels was still running the offense. Unless Danny Amendola's return turns Sam Bradford into Peyton Manning, or at least Eli, it's hard to see Steven Jackson's exile continuing.