Can LA Rams RB Cam Akers bounce back in 2022?

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It appears as though the LA Rams are content to Run it Back at running back, at least that is the early indication so far. The Rams traded for veteran RB Sony Michel to carry them through the 2021 NFL season. But now? He is a free agent and the team who traded two picks for him appears to be content to go into the 2022 NFL season without him.

After less than six months of tearing his Achilles Tendon, third-year rusher Cam Akers finds himself atop the LA Rams running back depth chart. In July 2021, when Akers injured himself in training camp, he was expected to be out for the entire season.  So when the season drew near, the Rams traded for Michel.

Veteran RB Sony Michel led the way at running back in 2021, carrying the ball 208 times and rushing for 845 yards with four touchdowns. That was not enough, however, as the Rams’ rushing attack was average at best throughout the season. Injuries piled up throughout the year causing a lack of production at the running back position. With the exception of Michel, all other Rams rushers were dinged up or outright injured at one point in the season.

For most of the year, LA Rams QB Matthew Stafford and the offense was practically one dimensional. At one point it seemed like they would never run the ball. Eventually, the Rams did figure out that to beat physical defenses, the offense needed a ground game.

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After losing three consecutive games to fall to a concerning 7-4 record with six games remaining, that is exactly what the offense delivered. The team reconfigured the offensive line with six linemen and leaned far more heavily upon their 12-personnel package. At the moment that the LA Rams needed a resurgence in running, the offense delivered it.  During the five-game winning streak that ensued, Michel carried the ball 108  times for 497 yards and three touchdowns. That was good enough for a 4.60 yards per rush average.