ESPN's Rams reporter, Nick Wagoner, held a chat Friday on ESPN.com in which he stated that he expects third-round rookie running back Tre Mason to become the team's No. 2 back and "be nipping at the heels" of starter Zac Stacy for the lead gig this season.
"I also wouldn't be surprised if [Mason] usurped Stacy at some point, especially if Stacy struggles with nagging injuries again," Wagoner wrote.
Wagoner was also asked during the chat for his fantasy take on the Rams' roster: "Stacy would be a nice addition though I'd absolutely do the handcuff method by adding Mason, too."
I agree with the opinion that Mason will be the Rams' direct backup running back this year, and he's a nice handcuff. But I'm not so high on him that I'd expect him to pass a healthy Stacy on the depth chart. Head coach Jeff Fisher has already signaled that Stacy can be a workhorse player, and we saw some of that last year. Despite hardly playing before October, Stacy touched the ball 276 times in 14 games. He averaged less than four yards per carry thanks to games against some stout run defenses -- Carolina, Seattle, San Francisco, Arizona -- but Stacy is definitely able to carry the mail and provide at least respectable results. He touched the ball 25 times or more in five of his 12 starts and cored eight touchdowns in his final 10 games. Mixing Stacy with the quicker Mason is a good idea, but Stacy is the lead dog here. If he gets injured, fine, let's see what Mason can do with a larger workload. But Stacy is in line to see more than 300 touches if he stays on the field, which makes him an RB1.