Last month, Rams running back Isaiah Pead called his rookie season "miserable." His 2013 season is off to a similar beginning. Pead has been suspended by the NFL for the first game of the season for violating its substance-abuse policy. Pead earned just 10 carries in 15 games last year. The 2012 second-round pick was beaten out by seventh-rounder Daryl Richardson for the right to be Steven Jackson's backup.
Now that Jackson is on the Falcons, the Rams' backfield is absolutely wide open. Pead will head into his second training camp with another position battle on his hands. He, Richardson and rookie Zac Stacy are the main contenders for the starting job. Given this episode, and Pead basically pouting about not getting his way last year, he has a lot to prove this summer. Stacy and Richardson will have a one-game head start, and either of those guys could take the reins as St. Louis' starter and not look back.