LA Rams’ RB Cam Akers’ injury: the 411 plus a ‘lil Greek mythology

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Advancement in the treatment protocol

Just exactly what is this “advancement in treatment protocol?”. To learn that, we must turn to the Primer on Achilles tendon rehab. Just to be clear, each hospital or medical treatment facility prescribes a Protocol, or standardized treatment, to ensure that patients who suffer from the same ailment receive the same standards of care. That not only ensures everyone gets the same treatment, but that they achieve the same outcomes.

Let’s just say that we’ve gotten beyond the ‘Take two aspirin and call me in the morning” phase of medical treatments.

So, the good news takeaway from the above is that we are doing better at treating this injury. As the above research paper suggests, “advancements in treatment protocol and rehabilitation are resulting in faster recovery and improved performance after Achilles tendon ruptures in NFL players.” The bad news is, well, the data is not exactly encouraging about a running back returning to pre-injury form.

Is there cause for optimism? Well, if there’s a comparable out there in the NFL, perhaps the most relevant comp we are (hoping to be able to) watch this season will be the Indianapolis Colts’ RB Marlon Mack, who tore his Achilles in week one right out of the gates last year. He went under the knife, rehabbed, and is hoping to get back on the field this year.

But “moving around” in t-shirts and shorts is not the same as being able to run away from 300-pound men and speedy linebackers intent on stopping you (and falling on you).

He’s reported to be moving around well during the Colts’ OTAs in May. The bad news is that his teammate, RB Jonathan Taylor, put up 1,169 yards in his absence. Mack was the top rusher of the team in 2019. Now, he’s fighting for playing time.

Nowhere baked into the research papers or the evidence-based studies are there any considerations about NFL teams whose featured running back tears an Achilles Tendon. Teams tend to move on. Running backs, right or wrong, are viewed by NFL teams as a commodity, a dime a dozen pack of trading cards. Coupla’ ketchup packets.

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Rams fans gotta have a lil’ (no, a lot) of faith in the Rams’ medical staff and his team of surgeons, I suppose. But we also must be honest with ourselves. Cam Akers may have quite the climb to return as the featured running back for the team. But the Rams offense may be just as effective, even in the running game, in the meantime.