Cam Akers injury creates a real challenge for Sean McVay and the Rams
Last year, the Rams shifted from the workhorse-tailback model to the San Francisco revolving-door approach. As the season progressed, then-rookie Cam Akers showed signs that he’s ready to become the new L.A. workhorse.
All indications leading up to training camp supported that idea, with coach Sean McVay repeatedly praising Akers. Given the upgrade at quarterback, Akers could have done much more this year than he did last year.
And now those plans are scrapped. Akers won’t play this year after tearing his Achilles tendon during pre-camp training. (The Rams have confirmed the injury.) It’s obviously a horrible situation for him. It also creates a real challenge for McVay.
Internal options include Darrell Henderson Jr., Xavier Jones, and Raymond Calais, along with rookies Jake Funk and Otis Anderson. Not many veteran free agents are available. A Todd Gurley reunion seems unlikely. New quarterback Matthew Stafford could provide some useful information about Adrian Peterson. And it would be intriguing to see Frank Gore back in the NFC West, facing the 49ers twice per year.
The Rams could wait for players to get cut, or to swing a trade for a young running back with plenty of tread on the tires.
Whatever the Rams decide to do, the outcome will represent a clear Plan B to what had become Plan A: Cam Akers as the every-down back and a potential breakout star of the 2021 season.