Can LA Rams rally around RB Cam Akers with ‘tough love’?
By Bret Stuter
Rams rushing problems start with the Rams’ roster
That is a pretty tall order for a very good offensive line. But the Rams’ 2022 offensive line has been so riddled with injuries that the team has started seven games with a different offensive line configuration in each game. Have the Rams helped out that offensive line with different personnel packages?
Well, the Rams used their 12-personnel package for 12 percent of their offensive snaps in 2021. This year, despite a horribly battered offensive line, the Rams have all but abandoned two tight end formations.
Let’s revisit a few positions and how the team addressed them in the offseason. At TE, the LA Rams lost TE Johnny Mundt in free agency, a player whose contribution was significant in helping the offensive line block.
So long, Sony
Now factor in the reality that the LA Rams’ best rusher from the 2021 NFL season, veteran RB Sony Michel, walked away uncontested in free agency. He was a player who the Rams valued so significantly, that they traded a 2022 sixth-round draft pick and a 2023 fourth-round draft pick to acquire. Was he worth it? Well, from the moment that the Rams turned him into the featured running back that season, the Rams only lost one of the final six games.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound veteran Michel was replaced on the roster with 5-foot-9 194-pound RB Kyren Williams. When facing RB injuries, the Rams also added 5-foot-9 195-pound RB Ronnie Rivers to the team’s practice squad. The team’s skill players (not including Cam Akers) are:
RB Darrell Henderson Jr. – 5-foot-8 208-pounds
PR/KR/WR Brandon Powell – 5-foot-8 181-pounds (but used in special teams)
WR Tutu Atwell – 5-foot-9 155-pounds
RB Ronnie Rivers – 5-foot-9 195-pounds
RB Kyren Williams – 5-foot-9 195-pounds.
Notice a trend? The Rams roster continues to downsize in terms of skill players, but now are surprised that production and durability are problems.