LA Rams rookie RB Cam Akers slowly getting a ‘fragile’ reputation

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams rookie RB Cam Akers slowly getting a ‘fragile’ reputation

The LA Rams needed a featured running back in the 2020 NFL Draft, and selected Florida State rusher Cam Akers. Je is the team leader in rushing yards, having rushed 124 times for 591 yards. He’s done that on just 249 offensive snaps, which is only 26 percent of the offense so far this season.  Of the Rams 14 games this season, Akers had already missed two games with a rib seperation injury.  And now he is out with a high ankle sprain.

Yes, Akers had played in 12 games so far this year. But in the first seven games, he was only used for a total of 44 offensive snaps. In the month of November 2020, he played 67 snaps, or an average of 17 snaps per game. It wasn’t until December 2020 that he has begun to get the lion’s share of offensive opportunities.


And the fact that Akers remained in the game against the New York Jets after suffering a high ankle sprain is nothing short of heroic. In the past three games, he has easily been the most dependable running back on the team. He has rushed 65 times during that period for 306 yards and a touchdown. He’s even gotten more usage in the passing game, catching four of seven targets for 32 yards and another touchdown.

Akers has been hot. So hot that he now leads the team in rushing yards. Had he remained healthy throughout the entire New York Jets, he would likely have had his second NFL 100 yard game and been on track for rushing for 1000 yards this season.

Two injuries in first NFL season

But then there is another trend. While Akers has not had much action on offense, he has started four games. In both cases, he fell to injury on the second start. Of course, both injuries were unrelated and have no direct impact on his future production or durability. But the social media whispers are already beginning.  In this modern culture of disposable everything, the public perception that Akers is not durable has already germinated.

While the Rams certainly could use Akers to close out the season, the fact is that he ran on a moderately injured ankle. He certainly has tried to do his best. But so far, he hasn’t been on the field enough to change the Rams trajectory much this season. Will that impact how the Rams plan for 2021?  I don’t see how it can be avoided now.  The Rams will have a decision to make over veteran RB Malcolm Brown this offseason.

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If nothing else, the fact that Akers has missed games twice this year due to injuries will make that decision all the more difficult.