Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers became one of the top stories late in the 2021 NFL season, returning to action less than six months after tearing his Achilles. Once considered a potential running back in Sean McVay’s absence, Akers is now swirling in NFL trade rumors.
Drafted with the 52nd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Akers showed tremendous promise in his first NFL season. The rookie posted 625 yards rushing and averaged 4.3 yards per rush, becoming the centerpiece of the Rams’ rushing attack. Many expected a significant leap in 2021, projecting the 5-foot-11 back for a 1,000-yard season.
- Cam Akers Career Stats: 779 yards, 3.9 ypr, four total touchdowns in 19 games
Instead, Akers suffered a torn Achilles in his right leg while practicing in July 2021. The injury typically requires a full year of recovery, especially for skill position players who rely on their explosiveness and athleticism on every play. Incredibly, Akers returned to the field in Week 17. During the Rams’ playoff run, he totaled 151 yards rushing in the Super Bowl.
However, things went downhill for Akers from week one. He played just 12 snaps in the season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills, receiving just three catches. McVay got him more involved in the next two games, both wins, with Akers rushing for 105 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. However, over his last two games, Akers has turned 21 carries into just 46 rushing yards (2.2 yrs.
- Cam Akers Stats 2022: 151 rushing yards, 3.0 ypr, 18 receiving yards in five games
On Friday, McVay announced that Akers will not play in Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers due to personal reasons. Jordan Rodrigue of The Athletic he noted that the Rams’ head coach said the team was handling the situation.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Los Angeles is now expected to begin making trade calls for Akers. There is expected to be significant interest in the third-year running back, with the Rams willing to move him if the right offer is evaluated. While McVay left Akers’ future with the franchise open to speculation, Rapoport indicates there is a belief Akers could be done in Los Angeles.
Why the Los Angeles Rams Will Likely Trade Cam Akers
The Rams offense needs all the help it can get right now. Entering Week 6, Los Angeles is the fourth-lowest scoring offense (80 points in five games) in the NFL. The absence of a rushing attack is part of the problem with the Rams entering Sunday with the second-lowest yards per rush (3.2) and worst rushing attack (62.4 ypg) in the NFL.
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Apparently there is frustration on both sides. According to NFL.com, Akers has philosophical and football-related issues with McVay. Meanwhile, the Rams coach is unhappy with the lack of production from his top quarterback this season.
While Akers could generate significant interest, Los Angeles is unlikely to receive anything more than a late Day 3 pick in return. Now more than a year since tearing his Achilles’ Akers is averaging just 2.76 ypr since returning from the devastating injury . Lacking that explosiveness that helped him break out in 2020, Akers’ role on any team could be little more than a change of pace.