LA Rams hoping for huge offensive boost of healthy RB Cam Akers’ return
By Bret Stuter
The relationship between the LA Rams’ productive running game and a healthy Cam Akers is difficult to dispute. At least since the Rams committed to featuring his valiant rushing in the offense late in the 2020 NFL season. That decision certainly panned out for the offense.
After struggling to get anything going on the ground against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the offense discovered that Akers could put big chunks of yardage on the ground against even the toughest defenses. He put up 84 yards against the San Francisco 49ers in just 9 runs. That was the kickstart to his late-season surge which included 171 rushing yards in a dominating performance against a tough New England Patriots defense, and 221 yards and two touchdown efforts in two games in the NFL Playoffs.
He even added three receptions for 51 yards in the passing game. That is something special in the LA Rams offense, a team that loves to default to a passing game whenever the importance of the play escalates. Trusting Akers to move the ball in that scenario is a huge matter for head coach Sean McVay.
Starter? IR? Rams roster upheaval
The LA Rams committed to featuring Cam Akers as the starting running back early in OTAs, a decision that was unchallenged by NFL analysts or beat writers. It was the obvious decision, as Akers surged to the forefront in just his rookie season. But before the season arrived, Akers’ season was over. He suffered an Achilles Tendon injury and was sent to the Rams Injured Reserve.
That early-season injury has certainly caused a bit of upheaval with the Rams roster. The team went on to trade two valuable draft picks to add a veteran running back Sony Michel to pair up with Darrell Henderson. But by mid-season, the offense is averaging just 97.9 yards per game. The problem so far is not about the effectiveness of the running attack. Rather, it’s the fact that the Rams abandon the run when facing physical defenses.
The team hopes that their rushing performance may change by the time that the NFL Playoffs roll around. How so?