LA Rams RB Cam Akers may never be the same after Achilles injury

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Cam Akers Darrell Henderson
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Rams rushing: Frequency, proficiency, and commitment

The Rams have rushed just 97 times in five games, the fewest rushing attempts by any NFL offense. But even so, if the Rams averaged the 4.1 yards per run that Darrell Henderson has gained, the Rams would have nearly 400 yards of offense on the ground, rather than the 312 yards gained so far.

Let’s look at it another way. If the Rams rushed the median number of times as an NFL offense, the team would have rushed the football 134 times. If the Rams had done so, they would have rushed for 429 rushing yards, which is even better than the 400 yards or 312 yards. But if the Rams has averaged 4.1 yards per fun on 134 attempts, the Rams’ ground game would have chalked up nearly 550 yards on the ground. That would place the Rams as the 20th-ranked rushing offense. Not great? No. But it’s a far sight better than the 32nd rushing offense.

To get there, all we did was run more often and theoretically rush just Darrell Henderson.  And these improvements do not require any offensive line changes from what the Rams have already experienced.

The Rams need to embrace running

The team allowed RB Malcolm Brown to walk when his contract expired after the 2020 NFL season. The team allowed RB Sony Michel to walk when his contract expired after the 2021 NFL season.  This year, the Rams have re-signed Brown, but he has yet to touch the ball. For that matter, the Rams drafted rookie RB Kyren Williams, but after two injuries, he too has yet to touch the football.

So can the LA Rams do a better job of running the ball? Of course.  The first step is to find a runner who is better equipped to change directions and hit the cutback lanes than Cam Akers. The second step is to actually commit to running the football.

Perhaps rather than the pattern of throwing 40+ times directly into the teeth of one of the NFL’s top-rated passing defenses that has a strong pass rush, the Rams ought to consider something like trying to run the football more. Finally, the Rams have to run often enough in a football game to allow it to alter the defense’s strategy and achieve positive results.

EDITOR’S NOTE: 24 hours after this article was published, the Rams have pulled RB Cam Akers from practice, and have already declared that he will be inactive in Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers.

There may be a lot more to this story, which is completely in line with the recovery from any Achilles Tendon injury.

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