3 ways Cam Akers will help you forget Rams RB Todd Gurley in 2023
By Bret Stuter
Chapter II: A long road back
Life in the NFL can come at you fast. And as easy as the life of NFL stars may seem to fans, their careers are embedded in a physical and violent sport. No matter the quality of protective gear, the length and intensity of workouts, or the hydration/nutrition/sleep regimen that an NFL professional athlete adheres to throughout his career, injuries happen.
LA Rams running back Cam Akers ruptured his Achilles Tendon before the 2021 NFL season, an injury that spells all sorts of trouble for an NFL running back, and takes a very long time to heal, oftentimes for more than a year. Thankfully, the Rams running back found medical help in the form of Fletcher Zumbusch, a specialist in physical therapy and rehabilitation at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
That long and winding road
For the full details of his miraculous recovery, I recommend that you read The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue article: ‘Write your own destiny’: Inside Cam Akers’ remarkable return to Rams 5 1/2 months after Achilles tear. (Subscription required) In essence, unique medical innovations allowed the injury to heal in half of the normal time required.
While Akers rehabbed, the LA Rams sought help for their depleted running backs room. Because the gig was expected to be temporary, many (myself included) expected the LA Rams to sign one of any number of veteran free agents to the Rams roster. But the Rams’ front office threw everyone a curve ball, trading two picks, a 2021 sixth-round, and a 2022 fourth-round draft pick, to the New England Patriots for veteran running back Sony Michel.
Michel held down the fort, once he was given the opportunity to run with the football. Perhaps what surprised me the most was the fact that the LA Rams paid such a steep, premium price for a veteran running back that was not used right out of the gate. Even more surprising is how quickly the team benched Michel at the first sign of Akers’s ability to suit up and play.